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Developing Countries are Surging Ahead in Mobile Broadband Usage, According to the United Nations

According to a recent United Nations Broadband Commission (UN) paper, this year the number of broadband users in developing countries will surpass the number of broadband users in developed countries, due to the increasing development & usage of mobile broadband technologies.

The increasing use of mobile broadband technologies through mobile devices has allowed many developing countries to skip over the physical/economical challenges of developing a traditional, wired broadband network.

This has allowed some developing countries like Oman & Kazakhstan to outrank wealthier, more developed countries like Switzerland & Germany in terms of mobile broadband penetration.

However, the UN paper also points out that this mobile broadband penetration has occurred unevenly across the developing world as many areas in Africa & Latin America still have very low levels of mobile broadband penetration (in the single digit range per 100 inhabitants).

This article is important as it shows that many developing countries have been able to take advantage of the advancing development & usage of mobile devices using mobile broadband technologies to allow for more of their population to gain access to the Internet through mobile broadband networks instead of traditional, wired broadband networks.

This shows that developing countries have & can find a way around the difficult economic challenge of  building & maintaining traditional wired broadband networks by using the wireless mobile broadband networks instead.

This usage of mobile broadband for Internet access could perhaps benefit their respective populations’ economically & socially in the future as they can also have fast access for usage of the Internet without having to wait for wired broadband networks to be developed in their local areas.

This article also highlights the uneven development of mobile broadband technologies between the various developing countries.

Link to the article: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/developing-countries-surge-in-mobile-broadband-u-n-finds/?_r=0

Link to the UN paper the article references: http://www.broadbandcommission.org/Documents/bb-annualreport2013.pdf

By Matthew Salava

A senior Information Technology student at FSU. I will be graduating in Spring 2014.

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