Informa Telecoms & Media reveals that worldwide mobile penetration will hit 50 per cent – or around 3.3 billion subscriptions – on Thursday, just over 26 years since the first cellular network was launched.
Since its birth in 1981, when the first mobile telephony network was switched on in Scandinavia, the mobile phone has become one of the world’s great success stories.
As of the end of September there were operational networks in 224 countries around the globe, a figure that has increased from 192 in 1997 and 35 in 1987.
Informa estimates that mobile networks covered 90 per cent of the global population by mid-2007. This means that some 40 per cent of the world’s inhabitants are covered by a network, but not connected, and leaves just 10 per cent with neither coverage nor connection.
Although global mobile penetration – the number of mobile subscriptions worldwide – has reached 50 per cent, this does not mean that half of the 6.6 billion or so people in the world now have a mobile phone. Read more.