The International Telecommunication Union estimated last week that there will be 7.1 billion wireless subscriptions globally by the end of 2015, barely behind the global population of 7.25 billion people. While this does not mean that every man, woman, and child has access to a mobile phone, this does show us that the majority of the world is now connected in some capacity. The number of mobile subscriptions worldwide has increased from 738 million in 2000.
Just a decade ago, there were only 2.2 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide. There were also many more landlines. While landlines are not necessarily becoming obsolete just yet, the number of them and dependency on them is certainly depleting. Landlines are still around, but their future is likely going to be voice-over-Internet-protocol lines that bypass much of the old telephone infrastructure and are bundled with TV / broadband connections.
Another major finding in the report is that 3G mobile broadband coverage is expanding into rural areas. The mobile-broadband market saw a 12-fold increase from 2007 with this year reaching 47%, making mobile broadband the most dynamic market. In 2011, only 45% of the world was able to experience 3G coverage; in 2015, it’s up to 69%. The world is becoming increasingly connected and soon the number of mobile subscriptions will outnumber the human population.
The full report is available here.