Worldwide Mobile Phone Subscriptions Reach 5 Billion

Ryan Whitwam

According to some new numbers for iSupply, the total number of wireless subscriptions in the world will reach 5 billion this month . That's the equivalent of nearly three-quarters of the world's population. Of course, some people will have multiple lines, perhaps business and personal, but the number is still huge. “If the importance of an event can be measured by the number of people it affects, then the proliferation of wireless communications stands out as one of the most significant phenomena in the history of technology,” said Dr. Jagdish Rebello of iSupply.

Not all regions are equally saturated with mobile phones. Africa and the Middle East have the lowest penetration with only about 50%. On the high end is Western Europe where cell subscriptions out number people; about 157% penetration. Many Europeans have multiple low-cost subscriptions to enable calling when traveling to other countries.

It's often said that phones are the computing platforms of the future. These new numbers really drive the point home. People that could never hope to afford a computer can manage a cell subscription. iSupply feels this trend will continue to encourage the technology supply chain to shift away from traditional computer hardware, and toward mobile devices.

Image via iSupply

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