According to a new report from the ITU, the gap in telephone access is shrinking. In 1991, developed nations had 49 telephones per 100 people, compared with 3.3 in emerging nations and 0.3 in the least developed nations. Now, the levels are 121.1, 18.7 and 1.1 respectively.
There are 20 million mobile phone users in Africa, and more than half the countries in Africa have more mobile phones than fixed lines. Globally, mobile subscribers are set to overtake fixed line subscribers by the middle of this year.
The effect of mobile phones is highly positive: the least developed nations cannot afford the infrastructure to run lines to every home, and fixed line telecoms operators are often inefficient and corrupt.