Science

The world now has over 5 billion mobile subscriptions

22 Jun 2017 | By Shiladitya Ray
Worldwide mobile connections hit the 5 billion mark

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.

In context: Worldwide mobile connections hit the 5 billion mark

22 Jun 2017The world now has over 5 billion mobile subscriptions

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.
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Distribution of subscriptions and caveats to be kept in mind

Caveats & DistributionDistribution 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.

More than half of the number of mobile subscribers come from the Asia Pacific region, with India and China accounting for 730 million and 1 billion connections respectively.

Meanwhile, Europe has the highest phone penetration - 86%.

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.

India dataEconomic 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.