LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Five billion mobile SIMs

It is estimated that the world’s population went past the seven billion mark in 2011. Why do I use this cautious language? Sri Lanka just conducted a census and is looking for some half a million people that are short of the previous projections. So estimate we must.

GSMA’s Mobile and Development Intelligence website estimates that the number of mobile SIMs went past the five billion mark, at end of 2011. LIRNEasia remains skeptical about SIM counts, but this still a big deal.

The number of active SIMs (if not people with mobile phones in their pockets) is five billion (70 percent of the world’s population). When I was privileged to play a role in government at the start of the mobile boom in the late 1990s, I never expected to see the day. I have. I now look for 100 percent.

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