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Metadata Glossary

Indicator NameFixed telephone subscriptions (per 100 people)
Long definitionFixed telephone subscriptions refers to the sum of active number of analogue fixed telephone lines, voice-over-IP (VoIP) subscriptions, fixed wireless local loop (WLL) subscriptions, ISDN voice-channel equivalents and fixed public payphones.
SourceInternational Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report and database.
TopicInfrastructure: Communications
Aggregation methodWeighted average
Limitations and exceptionsOperators have traditionally been the main source of telecommunications data, so information on subscriptions has been widely available for most countries. This gives a general idea of access, but a more precise measure is the penetration rate - the share of households with access to telecommunications. During the past few years more information on information and communication technology use has become available from household and business surveys. Also important are data on actual use of telecommunications services. Ideally, statistics on telecommunications (and other information and communications technologies) should be compiled for all three measures: subscriptions, access, and use. The quality of data varies among reporting countries as a result of differences in regulations covering data provision and availability. Discrepancies between global and national figures may arise when countries use a different definition than the one used by ITU. For example, some countries do not include the number of ISDN channels when calculating the number of fixed telephone lines. Discrepancies may also arise in cases where the end of a fiscal year differs from that used by ITU, which is the end of December of every year. A number of countries have fiscal years that end in March or June of every year. Data are usually not adjusted but discrepancies in the definition, reference year or the break in comparability in between years are noted in a data note. For this reason, data are not always strictly comparable. Missing values are estimated by ITU.
General commentsPlease cite the International Telecommunication Union for third-party use of these data.
License TypeCC BY-4.0