GSMA Intelligence, the research division of the trade organization representing mobile networks across the world, released a report stating that the world has over 5 billion mobile subscribers now.
The report was compiled using an "extensive database for mobile statistics" calculated using a real-time tracker for total connections and unique subscribers across the world.
Worldwide mobile connections hit the 5 billion mark
A tremendous achievement for the mobile industry
"Reaching the 5 billion-subscriber milestone is a tremendous achievement for an industry that is only a few decades old, and reflects the many billions of dollars that mobile operators have invested in networks, services, and spectrum over many years," said GSMA director general Mats Granryd.
Caveats & Distribution
Distribution of subscriptions and caveats to be kept in mind
However, the number of individual subscriptions don't necessarily reflect the number of individuals using mobile phones - it includes people using multiple mobile devices and SIM cards.
Meanwhile, Europe has the highest phone penetration - 86%.
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Scope for future growth
"Subscriber growth opportunities over the coming years will be focused on connecting mainly rural, low-income populations; operators are developing a range of sustainable solutions to deliver affordable connectivity to under-served communities," added Granryd outlining the required areas for market expansion.
Economic Survey 2015-2016 data on India's mobile coverage
According to 2015-2016 data, Delhi NCR, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala had over 99% mobile penetration.
Gujarat, Maharashtra boasted over 90% mobile penetration, while West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh were above 80%.
Bihar, UP, Madhya Pradesh, and Assam were between 50-60%, while other North Eastern states stood at 78%.
Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Sikkim had no data.