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mobile phone worldCan you hear me now? Probably.

Over 60 percent of the world's citizens have a cell phone. That's a lot of gadgets in a whole lot of hands.  This very significant increase in penetration is largely due to mobile phone adoption in poor and developing countries. As recently as seven years ago, less than 15 percent of the world's population had cell phones.

We're looking at more than 4X growth in mobile subscriptions since 2002, when there were about one billion mobile subscriptions globally. By the end of last year, there were an estimated 4.1 billion subscriptions.

Worldwide Internet usage more than doubled in the same period. Currently, c. 23 percent of the population goes online, up from only 11 percent in 2002. But the poorer the country, the further that number drops. Only about 5 percent of Africans went online in 2007.

The report also ranks countries by advancement in information and communications technology. The top countries, in order are:

1) Sweden
2) South Korea (nation-wide Gigabit broadband by 2012)
3) Denmark
4) Netherlands
5) Iceland
6) Norway

The United States ranked #17; Hong Kong at #11; China at #73; and India at #118.

Rebecca Lieb

Published 2 March, 2009 by Rebecca Lieb

Rebecca Lieb oversees Econsultancy's North American operations.

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