6 Billion!

The International Telecommunications Union on Thursday, announced there are now 6 billion cellphone subscriptions, world-wide. Fully a third of those, for a total of two billion, are from China and India.

The stats don’t necessarily mean that 6 billion people have mobile devices. Many people have multiple devices with a mobile broadband connection – a smartphone and tablet, for example. The current global population stands at about 6.97 billion, according to the World Bank.

The report, called Measuring the Information Society 2012 (pdf), looked at 155 countries, assessing their access to and use of information and communication technology (ICT).

The ITU also reported mobile broadband continues to rapidly grow.

“Over the past year, growth in mobile-broadband services continued at 40 percent globally and 78 percent in developing countries,” the ITU said in a statement. “There are now twice as many mobile-broadband subscriptions as fixed-broadband subscriptions worldwide.”

The ITU ranked South Korea again as the world’s “most advanced ICT economy”. Europe dominated the rest of the top 10, with Sweden ranked second, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Finland. Japan was the only other Asia-Pacific country in the top end, coming in eighth.

The U.S. came in at No. 14. The U.S., however, did come in No. 1 among the top 20 telecom markets in terms of revenue from telecom services in 2010, followed by Japan and China.

The average monthly cell phone bill has fallen slightly to $47.16—meaning each of us, on average, spends $566 per year on our phones.

CTIA, the industry group for all wireless providers in America, also reported Thursday that there are more mobile phone subscriptions (322 million) than there are Americans (314 million). Of that total, 41 percent are smartphones, and 23 percent are prepaid customers. The trade group says Americans used 1.1 billion gigabytes of mobile data between July 2011 and June 2012 — an increase of 104 percent from the previous period.

Informa Telecoms & Media predicts that revenue from mobile services will surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2013.

To meet the needs of 7 billion mobile subs in 2015, flat-rate tariffs are likely to be abandoned due to dramatically different mobile data requirements, with some 3.5 billion broadband subscribers predicted by 2015.

See Dailywireless: 5 Billion!

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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