Couldn’t Financial Times be more careful? This 10.7 million is neither the number of telephones nor the number of subscribers. It is the ‘access paths’: Number of connections in case of ‘fixed’ lines (including the dissent CDMA) plus SIMs in case of mobile (including ones not used, issued to tourists for short term use and perhas as sales promotions too) Many subscribers have used more than one SIM. So certainly it cannot be the number of telephone subscribers (or owners) which has to be less.
Can it be the number of phones? No. Many mobile users have used more than one handset. We need not elaborate. Read these two Sri Lankan bloggers giving their full mobile histories: Dinidu De Alwis and Kalinga Athulathmudali . If an average subscriber is as half tech savvy as them, we are sure to have twice more mobile phones in Sri Lanka than people!