Study: 5 Billion Mobile Phone Subscriptions Worldwide

It's a big, big world out there. No one is deny that. There's a lot of potential consumers, and a lot of potential sales to be made. But even when someone says "everyone has this" or "that," they usually don't really mean it. In fact, they usually aren't even close. But in the case of mobile phones worldwide, we're nearly to that point, even though mobile telephony only launched into the public realm within the last few decades.

Sweden's own Ericsson, a telecom provider and partner in Sony-Ericsson, recently engaged in a study to find out exactly how many consumers in the world had access to mobile phones. The number may shock you. According to their studies, over 5 billion mobile phones are now in use. We will point out that this fact is different than saying "5 billion people use mobile phones," as many mobile users in developed countries actually have two or three lines assigned to them: one for work and one or two for personal use.

But even still, 5 billion mobile lines worldwide is a gigantic number. There are barely more humans on the planet Earth than that! It's getting to the point where nearly every adult in the world could have a mobile phone, particularly when you think about just how cheaply the new low-end phones can be made and just how cheap prepaid minutes are. The calling and texting remains relatively inexpensive; mobile data is not, but hardly any developing nations are demanding lots of mobile data. According to the study, "soaring demand in emerging markets India and China" are largely to thank for the increase in users, and judging by just how many people live in those countries, we can't say we're surprised.

Just to compare: only 720 million people had mobile subscriptions in the year 2000. Today, more than that exist in China alone. Just ten years later. The study also found that the amount of mobile subscriptions rises around 2 million per day, and they're predicting that 80% of all people accessing the Internet will do so via mobile phone "soon." Imagine revisiting this article in 2020 -- who knows what it'll be then!