Having a mobile phone just isn’t that unique anymore. It is estimated that there are now 2.5 billion mobile phone connections in the world as of last Thursday. It took the world just 12 months to reach that level from 2 billion. The estimates come from Wireless Intelligence, a group formed by Ovum, a research group, and the GSM Association.
It took 20 years for the world to reach the first billion connections. The second billion took just three more years, and we are on pace to reach three million, nearly half the world population, by the end of 2007. Connections are currently growing at a rate of more than 40 million users per month, the highest levels ever seen.
The growth is being fueled by growth in emerging markets. The top three markets for new connections in the last year were China, India and Russia. The U.S. was fourth on the list. A quarter of the growth is coming from China and India.