GSM subscriber base hits 2 billion globally

Mobile services based on GSM technology were first launched in Finland in 1991. Today, more than 690 mobile networks provide GSM services across 213 countries and GSM represents 82.4% of all global mobile connections.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  June 18, 2006

Last week, the mobile phone industry celebrated connected the second billionth GSM mobile phone user in the world, according from figures for the GSM Association. The GSMA said that new users are signing up at the rate of 1,000 per minute (just under 18 per second) to services that include both second generation GSM as well as third generation 3GSM services - for which there are already more than 72 million users in the world. “This is the fastest growth of technology ever witnessed,” said Craig Ehrlich, chairman of the GSMA. “While it took 12 years for the industry to reach the first billion connections, the second billion has been achieved in just two and a half years - boosted by the phenomenal take-up of mobile in emerging markets such as China, India, Africa and Latin America, which accounted for 82% of the second billion subscribers.” Mobile services based on GSM technology were first launched in Finland in 1991. Today, more than 690 mobile networks provide GSM services across 213 countries and GSM represents 82.4% of all global mobile connections. China is the largest single GSM market in the world today, with more than 370 million users, followed by Russia with 145 million, India with 83 million and the USA with 78 million users. In India, mobile has even become the fastest selling consumer product – pushing bicycles to the number two spot.

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