Four billion mobile connections reached


February 12, 2009

Source: GSMA & Decisive Media. Photographer: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

Source: GSMA & Decisive Media. Photographer: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

February 12, 2009 The world passed its four billionth mobile connection this week, passing another milestone along the road to the ubiquitous wireless connectivity of every human being. The first commercial citywide cellular network was launched in Japan by NTT in 1979 and it took 23 years for one billion mobiles to be connected. The two billion mark was passed in 2005, with the three billion milestone passed in 2007 and the historic “tipping point” where 50% of all human beings are carrying a mobile phone was reached in Q2, 2008. Further growth in emerging markets such as China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan, plus the integration of previously unconnected devices are expected to push the number of global connections to six billion in 2013. There are only 6.7 billion human beings.

Mobile Broadband accounts for just 100 million of the four billion mobile connections, compared with 1.1 billion fixed broadband lines. Given the rapid penetration of mobile into the global community, mobile broadband can be expected to accelerate from this point too. Notably, with fixed line broadband included, broadband connectivity now reaches one sixth of the world’s population.

All statistics - Wireless Intelligence

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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