Kim H. Veltman

Mobile Usage above 100% of Population

Mobile phones usage is growing rapidly. It is estimated that there were 4.6. billion at the end of 2009 and that there will be 5 billion users of mobile phones by the end of 2010. [1] A wiki site lists that there are 4.1 billion mobile phones and provides a listing by country. [2] Although slightly out date qua statistics, it illustrates some fascinating trends of the past decade. First, there will soon be more than four times as many mobile phones than fixed line phones. Second, there is a curious phenomenon that fifteen countries have more than 100% usage. Third, although the so-called developed world in the West continues to play a significant role, the most users are in East, and in so-called developing countries. For instance, although the United States has 267 million more people than Russia, it only has 68 million more cellphones than Russia. The U.S. has 89% usage, Russia has 146.8% usage.      

Hong Kong     150.5
Lithuania 148.4
Estonia 147.8
Italy   147.41
Russia 146.8
Portugal 137
Germany 130.15
United Kingdom   122.95
Ukraine 119.56
Netherlands 115.3
Hungary   115.1
Spain 111.05
Romania  108.5
Taiwan 101.3
New Zealand   101.7

Figure 1. Fifteen Countries with more than 100% usage.

Fixed Internet usage has now reached 1.803 billion. One source predicts that mobile Internet will surpass 1 billion by the end of this year (2010). [3] More conservative sources claim that mobile users are only 450 million at present and that 1 billion mobile Internet users will not be reached until 2013. [4] According to the CTO of Ericsson there will 50 billion devices connected by 2020. [5] We are living in a rapidly changing world, where the old centres are rapidly becoming peripheral to the vortices of change. 

[1] Cell Phone Subscriptions to hit 5 Billion Globally:

[2] Wiki:

[3] Mobile web Usage:

[4] Mobile Internet:

[5] Network Economy:,%20Ericsson%202.pdf

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