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Global mobile penetration still only 45%

18 октября 2012

The number of mobile subscribers in the world will reach 3.2 billion this quarter, according to new research from the GSMA, designed to give a more accurate picture of global mobile penetration than previous studies.

The industry body has for the first time calculated the actual number of subscribers, rather than connections. The total number of connections globally stands at 6.8 billion this quarter. Excluding machine-to-machine (M2M) connections and inactive SIMs the figure falls to 5.9 billion.

Mobile subscribers have an average of 1.85 SIM cards each, giving the 3.2 billion figure and a penetration rate of just 45%. That number will rise to 4 billion within the next five years, the GSMA predicts.

″This research...points to a significant growth opportunity for the mobile industry as we continue to connect the world's population,″ said Anne Bouverot, director general of the GSMA.

As its stands, penetration in developing economies is well below the global average at 39%. The GSMA predicts it will reach 47% in 2017 and, ″will be the largest factor spurring the global growth of mobile over the next five years″.

Of the developing regions, Africa has the lowest penetration. Just one in three people on the continent subscribe to mobile services, although that is expected to increase to 40% in 2017. Penetration is already at 40% in Asia, rising to 49% by 2017, boosted by its biggest market China, which will see penetration grow to 52% from 43% over the same period.

Meanwhile, in developed markets, where there is less growth potential, penetration will grow to 81% in 2017 from 79% today.

The research shows that around one third of the world's 7 billion-strong population is unlikely to be able to access mobile services for various reasons – including those that live in areas without network coverage and those that do not have services for financial reasons or due to age or disability - resulting in an addressable mobile subscriber base of around 5 billion.

The GSMA's Wireless Intelligence unit predicts the world will hit the 5 billion unique subscribers mark over the next 10 years, thanks to network expansion in developing markets and growth in take-up from low-income rural areas.

Источник: Total Telecom

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