Global Mobile Penetration to Exceed 50% This Year

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According to the latest figures from The Mobile World there are now nearly 3 billion mobile users in the world and the number is set to rise to over 3.25 billion by the year end giving a global penetration rate of over 50%.

The Mobile World has completed its Q1 07 survey of the global mobile industry. At the end of March 2007, there were 2.84 billion mobile phone connections worldwide, an increase of more than 135 million on the December 2006 number. This is the third strongest quarter in the industry?s history and by far the best ever first quarter. 2007 is set to be another record year for new connections, with global penetration reaching and then exceeding the 50% level by the end of the year.

The key points of the survey are:

  • 2.84 billion mobile users worldwide as at 31st March 2007.
  • Global additions of 135 million in the quarter, 25% up on Q1 06. This is equivalent to more than 1,000 new customers every minute.
  • The quarter saw the third largest increase in the industry?s history (after Q4 05 and Q4 06, +142m and +163m respectively).
  • Mobile penetration in Europe now exceeds 100%, with 666 million connections.
  • Over 250 million new handsets were sold in the quarter, another Q1 record.

John Tysoe, Co-founder and Principal Analyst at The Mobile World commented: "The mobile telecommunications industry continues to set new records, driven by huge demand, especially in India, China and Africa. And the growth rate is still accelerating. It took over 20 years to connect the first billion subscribers, but only 40 months to connect the second billion. The three billion milestone will be passed in July 2007, just two years on. By the end of the year, the global mobile base will exceed 3.25bn connections, or over half the world?s population. With handsets and services becoming ever more affordable, the prospect of a fully connected mobile world is becoming ever more real."

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