The Globe Is Going Online

The Globe Is Going Online

AUGUST 1, 2007

China and India lead the charge.

The worldwide online population will grow to 1.5 billion in 2011, from 1.1 billion in 2006, according to JupiterResearch‘s
"Worldwide Online Population Forecast, 2006 to 2011: Emerging Economies
Catalyze Future Growth" report. The growth will put 22% of the world’s
population online in 2011.

Brazil, Russia, India and China are expected to account for most
of the growth. This is mainly because the online populations of the US,
Canada, Japan and Western Europe are already mature.

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North America’s share of the worldwide online population is actually expected to shrink to 17% in 2001, down from 21% in 2006.


Vikram Sehgal, research director at JupiterResearch, said, "In
[China and India], increased infrastructure development and relatively
higher purchasing power from rapid growth of gross domestic product
will coincide with increased consumer adoption of the Internet through
2011."

eMarketer’s Internet population estimates put the
industrialized countries of the Asia-Pacific region on top of the world
in penetration rates. Over 70% of South Korea’s population uses the
Internet, and rates are not much lower in Japan and Australia. Both
Canada and the US have Internet penetration rates of around 63%, while
the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain have all yet to hit the 60%
mark.

Morgan Stanley estimated in November 2006 that there will be over 1.34 billion Internet users worldwide in 2007. The International Telecommunication Union
(ITU), a long-standing benchmark for such data, put the total for 2005
at 964 million, only slightly less than Morgan Stanley’s 1.04 billion
estimate for the same year.

Morgan Stanley undoubtedly has the global reach to put together
reasonably accurate numbers, and the ITU gets its data directly from
service providers and governments. Reflecting this broad consensus from
key sources, eMarketer puts the total number of Internet users
worldwide at 1.1 billion in 2006 and 1.3 billion in 2007.

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"If only the definition of an ‘Internet user’ were uniform across
the world," says Ben Macklin, Senior Analyst at eMarketer.
"Unfortunately each country defines an Internet user differently."

"For example," Mr. Macklin says, "some research agencies
define an Internet user as someone who uses the Internet once per
month, others once per week. Some include just users over 14 years of
age, some over 3 years of age. Gauging an accurate measure of an
Internet audience is still an inexact science."

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