Then let's move from broadcast media to computers. The PC penetration in the Industrialized World households is now 71%, or 340 million PC households. They are used by 600 million people. In the Emerging World countries PC penetration is 23% of all households, 300 million of them. They have 800 million users. Worldwide we have 640 million PCs in households, used by 1.4 Billion people. INTERNET
Not all of those PCs are connected to the internet, not even in the Industrialized World countries yet where 93% do connect to the internet and thus 7% are still without an internet connection. But 315 households in the Industrialized World have both a PC and an internet connection and they help connect 415 million home PC based users to the internet.
Across the Digital Divide, only 70% of homes with PCs connect to the internet, so there are 210 million internet-connected households who have 485 million PC-based users accessing the internet.
Worldwide, we find 525 million households that have PCs which also are connected to the internet. Their total internet user base is 900 million people who access the internet from a PC at home [and remember people also access the internet from internet cafes and increasingly from mobile phones]. TELEPHONES, THE OLD LANDLINE KIND
Before we look at mobile phones, lets count those older types of phones, the fixed landline telephones. In the Industrialized World the number of telephones is in decline and we now have only 330 million households left [69% of households], that still have at least one telephone. Of those who still pay a fixed landline telephone bill, 25% have two phone lines at home. The population that can be reached by calling the landline [and hoping someone might answer] is 825 million people or 69% of the population in the wealthier nations of the planet.
In the Emerging World countries 680 million households have landline phones [52% of all households] and 5% of those have more than one line. The population in the less-affluent countries, that can be reached using a landline phone, is 2.9 Billion people.
When we add these together, we find the planet has 1.1 Billion total fixed landline phones, in 1 Billion households [56% of all households] and reach 3.7 Billion people. MOBILE PHONES
Here the math gets a bit tricky. If we count actual mobile phone handsets connected and in use, we get one number. If we count mobile phone subscriptions we get another number. If we count unique mobile phone subscribers we get yet another number, and the math is even more fuddled by some of the poorest people, where families do not have a landline phone and cannot afford phones for all family members so they use one mobile phone as a family phone.
In the Industrialized World countries, 96% of households have at least one mobile phone account. For the 1.2 Billion people living there are 1.3 Billion actual mobile phone handsets with 1.6 Billion total active subscriptions. For those homes that have at least one mobile phone, the average number of phones per active mobile phone household is 2.7. The phones are not shared, so the total population that can be reached using a mobile phone is 1.05 Billion [88% of the population].
In the Emerging World, 59% of households have at least one mobile phone, and the total number of mobile phone handsets is 2.9 Billion, so there is an active phone already for 51% of the population living there. In the poorest regions [often beyond electricity] about 200 million households have one mobile phone shared as the family phone. Thus the total reach of 3.35 Billion [59%].
When we add those numbers together, we find households that have at least one mobile phone, number 1.25 Billion, and they have a total of 4.2 Billion connected mobile phones in use including those people who carry two phones. The reach of mobile phones is 4.4 Billion which includes those poor households where mobile phones are shared. REACH AND AUDIENCE
Time has come to compare the major technologies and how they are able to reach us. Not how many devices are in use [mobile utterly dominates that] but the actual audience or real reach. Of these five, the smallest is the home PC use of the internet, which has 900 million household users.
The second smallest technology by reach is the personal computer, which in households has 1.4 Billion active users. Again remember there are also PCs at work and at schools and universities which are also used, so this is not the ceiling, this is home use of personal computers.
Next come the four giants; fixed landline telephone is the first of the giants, reaching 3.8 Billion people. Then come radio and TV, both tied with total audience sizes of 4.2 Billion people. With radio almost all of that is free over-the-air radio, but with TV, 63% of the television audience is in households that offer pay-TV in the form of satellite or cable TV.
Last and definitely not least the biggest, i.e. mobile telecoms; which now have an active reach of 4.4 Billion people. CONCLUSION
There you go. This article is intended to help sort out the math and the big picture. If you need more info, I have a whole chapter of the Digital Divide with obviously mainly a focus on mobile, both in the Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2010
and the Tomi Ahonen Phone Book 2010
. I will be updating these numbers to the 2011 edition of the Almanac with even more interesting numbers, and those who buy the 2010 Almanac now in January, will receive the 2011 Almanac for no extra cost.
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