The year 2008 will be marked as the year when the number of people with a mobile phone in the world overtakes those without, according to a study by the United Nation’s telecommunications agency reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.
According to the International Telecommunications Agency, rapidly growing mobile phone uptake rates in developing countries will see more than 3.3 billion people having their own mobile by the middle of the year.
The speed at which mobile phone uptake has spread is quite amazing – in the year 2000, just 12% of people in the world had a mobile, much of that in the developed world.
But since then mobiles have taken off in developing countries, with Brazil, Russia, India and China alone accounting for one billion subscribers last year.
The number of people with access to a mobile is likely to be much higher than 3.3 billion, the ITU says, because in many places one mobile phone is used by a whole community or village to keep in touch with the outside world.