The majority of the world’s population now own a mobile phone, a new study has shown, as cheaper handsets continue to bring mobile communications within reach of consumers in the developing world.
According to a report conducted by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), at the end of last year there were around 4.1 billion mobile subscriptions across the globe.
This represents six in ten of the entire population of the world and is up from a figure of just one billion in 2002.
The findings are indicative of how mobile phone manufacturers have targeted growth in non-core markets with cheaper, more accessible handsets.
As a result, among the most rapid take-up of mobile handsets has been in Africa where ownership has gone from just one in 50 people nine years ago to its current level of 28 per cent.
The ITU said: "There has been a clear shift to mobile cellular telephony. In contrast to the growth in the mobile sector, fixed telephony has experienced nearly no growth in the last decade.
"The spread of mobile cellular services and technologies has made great strides towards connecting the previously unconnected."
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