The number of Internet users worldwide continues to rise, according to the United Nations' telecommunications agency, which says there will be almost three billion users by the end of this year. Two-thirds of those users will be in developing countries.
In a statement released Monday, the International Telecommunication Union, or ITU, also says the number of mobile-cellular subscriptions will be even higher, reaching almost seven billion by the end of 2014.
At the same time, the number of fixed-telephone subscribers continues to fall, with the ITU predicting there will be 100 million fewer landlines this year than in 2009.
The developing world is pushing up the number of mobile-cellular subscriptions, mostly in the Asia-Pacific region; but, the ITU says the global growth rate of 2.6 percent indicates that the cellular phone market may be reaching its peak.
The ITU predicts that by the end of this year, 44 percent of households worldwide will have Internet access. It says nearly one-third of households in developing nations will have an Internet connection, compared with 78 percent in the developed world.
The agency's statistics are considered to be the most reliable and impartial and are used by many government agencies and private companies.