Please accept all cookies to ensure proper website functionality. Set my cookie preferences

As of early 2012, more than six billion mobile subscriptions were in use around the world (pre-paid and post-paid), providing mobile access for more than three-quarters (75%) of the world's inhabitants, according to a report by the World Bank.

Mobile phone subscriptions have grown more than eightfold over the past 10 years (up from 0.7 billion in 2000), with the developing world driving much of the growth: As of 2010, developing countries accounted for 77% of worldwide mobile subscriptions, and high-income countries accounted for 23% of subscriptions. That ratio is a dramatic reversal from penetration levels recorded 10 years earlier:

Below, additional findings from the report titled "Maximizing Mobile," published by the World Bank's Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) office.

The ownership of multiple subscriptions is becoming so common that the number of worldwide subscriptions is expected to surpass the human population (now close to 7 billion) by the end of 2013:

Importantly, the near ubiquity of mobile is offering new economic opportunities for the developing world.

For example, the citizens of 74% of the world's countries now use at least one mobile money app, up from 2% in 2001.

In addition, there are public-health related benefits to mobile access: 29 of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa use at least one mobile health app (there are 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in total), and 14 of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean use such apps:

"The mobile revolution is right at the start of its growth curve: mobile devices are becoming cheaper and more powerful while networks are doubling in bandwidth roughly every 18 months and expanding into rural areas," said Tim Kelly, lead ICT policy specialist at the World Bank and one of the authors of the report.

"Government support is needed to develop sound business models, foster ICT skills, and ensure that the infrastructure is in place and affordable," explained Kelly.

Countries around the world are taking advantage of mobile potential, with the following examples cited in the report:

  • In India, the state of Kerala's mGovernment program has deployed over 20 apps and facilitated more than 3 million interactions between the government and citizens since its launch in December 2010.
  • Kenya has emerged as a leading player in mobile for development, largely due to the success of the M-PESA mobile payment ecosystem. Nairobi-based AkiraChix, for example, provides networking and training for women technologists.
  • In Palestine, Souktel's JobMatch service is helping young people find jobs. College graduates using the service reported a reduction in the time spent looking for employment from an average of twelve weeks to one week or less, and an increase in wages of up to 50%.

[1] ITU (International Telecommunication Union) estimates, 2010.

[7] Adapted from GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile) mHealth Tracker, 2012. 

About the report: Findings are from the report [pdf] titled "Maximizing Mobile," authored by Tim Kelly and Michael Minges of the World Bank, and published by the World Bank on July 17, 2012.

Continue reading "Mobile Subscriptions to Surpass World Population by 2013" ... Read the full article

Subscribe today...it's free!

MarketingProfs provides thousands of marketing resources, entirely free!

Simply subscribe to our newsletter and get instant access to how-to articles, guides, webinars and more for nada, nothing, zip, zilch, on the house...delivered right to your inbox! MarketingProfs is the largest marketing community in the world, and we are here to help you be a better marketer.

Already a member? Sign in now.

Sign in with your preferred account, below.


Mobile Resources

You may like these other MarketingProfs resources related to Mobile.

Why People Opt Out of (And In to) Mobile Notifications From Brands

People say the top reasons they opt out of notifications from brands' mobile apps are because messaging is too frequent and because the notifications are not relevant, according to recent research from Airship.

What People Use Their Smartphones for While at Work

People use their smartphones for a wide range of different activities during the workday, from sending emails and managing their calendars to checking social media and playing games, according to recent research from AdColony.

Five SMS Campaigns for B2B Marketers to Try

B2B marketers may love email, but it can take a while for prospects to open one, even if they're interested. If you want to get people's eyes on your message in seconds, there's no better way than SMS. Here are five SMS campaign ideas.

How SMS Automation Bridges the Gap Between Your Sales Team and Customers and Supports Digital Transformation

Your buyers incorporate mobile into their everyday work, so it makes sense that your marketing and sales communications should, too. SMS can transform your efficiency—and it's even more effective when combined with automation.

Audiences' Attitudes Toward Mobile Ads and Apps [Infographic]

The most acceptable mobile ad format are rewarded videos (i.e., users receive some sort of reward in exchange for time spent viewing), according to recent research from AdColony.

Why B2B Apps Need App Store Optimization Now More Than Ever

Recent work-from-home initiatives have created record demand for telecommuting, team chat, and employee tracking apps. If your B2B company has an app, it's time to look into app store optimization (ASO) to maximize your potential customer base.