Report: 60 Million Net Users Worldwide
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According to a report issued by online researcher eMarketer, the number of non-U.S. Internet users, estimated to be around 23 million, is increasing at an average annual rate of 70 percent, contrasting a growth rate in the U.S. of only 43 percent each year.
Given these trajectories, the portion of the world outside the United States will have more Internet users than in the U.S. by the start of the new millennium, according to eMarketer's eOverview Report.
The study states that currently there are approximately 60 million Internet users worldwide, with Americans accounting for 37 million users. It predicts that the number of non-U.S. Net users will increase nine-fold over the next five years, from 16.4 million in 1997 to 143 million by the year 2002. If U.S. figures are added for a total worldwide picture, the growth rate will more than quintuple, from 44 million in 1997 to 228 million by year 2002.
"While the U.S. market is becoming increasingly saturated--generally those that want to, and can get online, are already there or soon will be--the world at large has a bigger base from which to grow and represents the greatest long-term growth opportunity," said Geoffrey Ramsey, Statsmaster of eMarketer.
The eOverview Report predicts that true globalization will begin to occur over the next few years due to the following factors:
- Emergence of telecom deregulation (with associated lower costs) in previously controlled markets
- Increased PC and modem penetration, particularly in Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands
- The attraction of eCommerce to foreign businesses looking to draw revenues from a worldwide market
- Deployment of midband and broadband solutions
- The continued popularity of online services in Europe.