Development of the World’s Information Infrastructure
(1) With the evolution of fixed broadband network technology, fiber broadband access is becoming the mainstream and the number of its users keeps increasing. By the first quarter of 2017, the number of fixed broadband users in the world had reached 875.1 million, including over 500 million fiber users. (2) The commercial scale and number of users of 4G technology keep increasing rapidly and its application scenarios are enriched. Its technical standard is evolving toward 4G+ and 4.5G at a high speed. By June 2017, 192 countries and regions had opened 601 LTE (4G) commercial networks, with 7.72 billion mobile users and the 4G penetration rate of 28%. (3) The demand for WLAN keeps increasing and the throughput is being calculated in gigabit. By the end of 2016, there were 94 million public WLAN access points (AP) and the number is expected to increase by six times in 2021. (4) With the explosive growth of the demand for Internet addresses, IPv6 sees new development opportunities. The layout is being accelerated and the number of its users is increasing. By July 2017, the number of IPv6 users in the world had accounted for 11.25%. (5) Internet broadband is witnessing rapid growth and the undersea cable construction is booming. Google, Microsoft and Facebook and other Internet giants are important force in the construction. In 2017, the speed of Internet broadband reached 295 Tbps and 270 undersea cables had been put into use. (6) High-orbit broadband communication satellites are developing fast, so are satellite Internet systems. Communication technologies like hot-air balloons and drones are being tested. By the end of 2016, there were 59 high-orbit broadband satellites and the Internet access capacity was 600 Gbps. (7) Data centers and cloud computing platforms are under centralized construction, which is witnessing obvious synergy effect. By 2016, 45% of large data centers were located in the United States. Content distribution networks (CDNs) are developing at a high speed and they can bear higher traffic. In 2016, the global CDN market scale was US$ 6.05 billion, with the compound growth rate in the past five years exceeding 22%. (8) IntelliSense facilities boost the development of the IoT. In 2016, the global cellular mobile communication networks bore approx. 800 million devices’ access to the IoT and they are expected to witness explosive growth in the future. Internet exchange points are expanding rapidly, promoting the networks to evolve in a flattening way. At present, there are nearly 500 exchange points in the world, distributed in 147 countries. (9) Basic resources of the Internet are unevenly distributed. Information infrastructure in some developing countries is not complete. There is a widening digital divide. Among all the Internet users of the world, only 10% come from Africa, but the population of Africa accounts for 16.6% of the world’s total. (10) The future broadband will develop into gigaband and 5G mobile communication standard commercialization will bring about the popularization of the IoT. Space-ground Integrated Network (SGIN) will be available across the globe, network facilities will be more intelligent and open, and universal telecommunication service will boost the sustainable development of economy and society.