There will be more cellphone connections than people on earth by 2014 : ITU


When I was 13 I heard my 26 year old computer science teacher tell one of his mates –

“One day there will be more mobile phones on earth than people on earth.”

And then they both burst into laughters of the magnitude of Navjot Singh Sidhu and Archana Puran Singh.

Fast forward 13 more years, I am 26, my CS teacher should be 39 and I wonder how he would react if he read this piece. What he predicted so naively in 1999 will become a reality in 2014, well sort of. According to “Measuring the Information Society 2012” report by the global body on telecommunications – the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Every year the ITU releases an annual report based on its stats-heavy research. And this year’s MIS report indicates that for the first time ever the number of cellphone connections will outnumber the world’s population as early as 2014. But that’s not all, the ITU report goes on to reveal several very interesting facts, here’s the summary of all the facts and figures from the ITU’s MIS 2012 report.

  1. There are already more than 100 countries where the mobile-cellular penetration is more than the number of people living in those countries.
  2. There are 7 countries where the mobile-cellular  penetration is more than double the number of inhabitants in those countries. That’s 2 mobile phones per person in each of these 7 countries.
  3. China was the first country to reach 1 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions, India will soon be the second.
  4. Currently the Asia-Pacific region accounts for more than 50% of the world’s mobile connections.
  5. In the rural sub-Saharan regions of Africa, the mobile-cellular penetration is more than 50% compared to the fixed line connections which account for 1%, which translates into – more than half the people in and around the Sahara desert have mobile connectivity, whereas about 1% of them have fixed lines.
  6. Believe it or not, as of now over 90% of the world’s population is covered by a 2G mobile network (not necessarily meaning that they have access to it).
  7. China is home to about 25% of the world’s internet users.
  8. In 2010, telecommunications and related technology sectors influenced 2.4% of the global GDP with earnings to the tune of $1.5 trillion.

At the same time the report also highlights the huge gap between those who have access to telecommunication technologies and those who don’t. The report pointed out that two-third’s of the world’s population still has no internet connection.

To know more about such amazing findings from the ITU’s MIS 2012 report, check out their official video on the report:


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