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Swiss highly connected but pay more

People in Switzerland are among the top ten in the world when it comes to mobile phone and internet use.

Switzerland moved up to seventh place in an information and communications technologies ranking published by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) on Tuesday.

The ITU’s annual study looked at 11 indicators including availability of fixed and mobile telephone service, as well as the internet.

Sweden, Luxembourg, South Korea, Denmark, the Netherlands and Iceland finished in the top spots, ahead of Japan, Norway and Britain.

But when it came to the price of internet service, Switzerland did worse, coming in 13th position. Around the world, average rates decreased by 15 per cent from 2008 to 2009.

Some 26 per cent of the world’s population – or 1.7 billion people – used the internet. In industrialised countries the figure stood at 64 per cent. In developing countries, it was 18 per cent.

Greater is the gap in access to broadband. In developed countries, 23 per cent of people had access, while only four per cent had access in developing countries.

There were 4.6 billion mobile phone subscribers around the world by the end of 2009, the ITU said. For the first time, a majority – 57 per cent – of people in developing countries had access to mobile phone networks. That’s around twice as much as in 2005.

The gap between what the rich and the poor pay to dial is substantial. In Europe, it was 1.1 per cent of monthly income. Africans on average spent 17 per cent of their budget making calls. and agencies

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