Telecom Expense Dropping Worldwide

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Geneva - May 16, 2011 - The ITU's 2010 ICT Price Basket, which is a composite affordability index based on fixed telephone, mobile cellular and fixed broadband Internet service expense, shows on average that the cost of all three have decreased markedly since 2008. Globally, consumers and businesses alike are paying on average 18 percent less for what ITU calls ICT services (or entry-level information and communications technology).

Costs for high-speed Internet services have decreased drastically -- more than 50 percent, according to the same ITU report. Mobile cellular service costs have dropped by 22 percent since 2008, while the number of cellular subscriptions worldwide grew from 4 to 5.3 billion. Even fixed telephony expense went down, on average worldwide, by 7 percent.

Interestingly, the 50 percent (average) cost decline worldwide is mainly due to price decreases in developing countries, where prices dropped by 52 percent as opposed to a 35 percent drop in developed countries. The ITU notes that this steep price decline in developing countries reflects the high cost of broadband there to begin with; and that even with steep price declines, that broadband services are often way out of reach of average citizens in those countries.

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