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Poorer Countries Fuel Explosive Growth in Mobile Phone Usage

As many as six out of ten people around the globe have mobile phone subscriptions, pointing out that the cell phones are gaining huge popularity as one of the most preferred communication technologies, especially in developing economies, according to a report from United Nations agency.

The report, published by the International Telecommunication Union, revealed that there were whopping 4.1 billion cell phones subscriptions noted by the end of the last year, up from about 1 billion subscriptions as registered in the year 2002.

However, the report showed striking differences between the developed and developing economies of the world in terms of mobile phones subscriptions, as the latter accounted for around two-thirds of the mobile subscriptions across the world, with African region showing remarkable growth rates where more than a quarter of the population has a mobile phone.

On the other hand, the growth of fixed dialling connections was much slower than that of cell phones subscriptions, and in some countries in Asia and Europe people have had more than one contract each.

In addition, the report also talked about the soaring usage of the internet, with around 23 percent people across the globe used the internet last year, up from 11 percent as registered in 2002.

Although around 20 percent homes in developed regions have fast broadband access at their homes, only 5 percent of the households in the world have internet connections, the report added.

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Our Comments

"Pile it high, sell it cheap" strategy has been the key strategy that has helped many manufacturers like Samsung and Nokia grab market share around the world. Even in the UK, the number of mobile phones available for under £10 increased dramatically. But looking at it the other way, the net profit made from each phone is so low that it means that a few dozens of those must be sold to bring in as much money as a single iPhone.

Related Links

Developing countries drive explosion in global mobile phone use (opens in new tab)


World's poor drive growth in global cell phone use (opens in new tab)

(Associated Press)

Mobile phone growth helps poorer states - U.N. index (opens in new tab)


Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.