January 28, 2005 The world's mobile phone installed base passed 1.5 billion (a quarter of the world's population) during 2004, and it is fast becoming clear that the device will be the key information portal of the future. Its global user base is now larger than either fixed line telephone subscribers or internet users, and it is growing much faster then either. As convergence impacts the functionality on offer, the device formerly known as the mobile phone is achieving incredible penetration rates not only in rich nations, but in poor and developing nations. Without the need for a costly copper wire infrastructure, these nations are leapfrogging a generation of technology and adopting the mobile phone at a startling rate - by the end of 2005 mobile phone users will have passed the two billion mark. Accordingly, a recently completed IDC study of the benefits mobile users perceive they derive makes for interesting reading.