Mobile connections reach 2.5 billion

Worldwide cellular connections have hit 2.5 billion after reaching the 2 billion mark only a year ago, according to estimates from Wireless Intelligence.

‘The cellular industry took 20 years to reach one billion connections, three years to reach two billion connections and is on target to reach its third billion in a period of just over two years,’ said Martin Garner, director of Wireless Intelligence, a joint venture between analyst Ovum and the GSM Association.

‘Worldwide growth is currently running at over 40 million new connections per month – the highest volume of growth the market has ever seen,’ he added.

Over the four quarters to the end of September 2006 total net additions across the globe were 484 million.

Of these 41 per cent were in Asia Pacific.

Eastern Europe
Latin America
accounted for 30 per cent of the growth,
took 10 per cent of the growth and the more mature markets of
Western Europe
North America
and the
Middle East
took the remaining 20 per cent in approximately equal measure.

‘Most of the growth is coming from cellular markets with lower levels of market penetration than exists in

for example,’ said Garner.

He highlights that although most of the growth is coming from so called ‘emerging markets’ – many of them are now very large, well developed and sophisticated with market penetration quickly moving towards European levels.

Heading the list of the top ten countries for volume of new connections over the last year is


, followed by


. Together they account for a quarter of the growth in the world cellular market over the last twelve months.


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