Global mobile subscribers to hit 4 billion in 2008

International Telecommunication Union estimates 60% penetration driven by economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  September 28, 2008

The International Telecommunication Union has announced that global mobile subscribers are expected to reach 4 billion before the end of the year.

The economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China have been identified as major factors for the growth in subscribers, with the ITU stating that these “economies alone are expected to account for over 1.3 billion mobile subscribers by the end of 2008.”

China passed the 600 million mark by mid-2008, representing by far the world’s largest mobile market.

India had nearly 296 million mobile subscribers by the end of July this year, but with a relatively low penetration rate of about 20 per cent, offering great potential for growth.

Globally, year-on-year growth stood at 12% in 2000 and passed 50% earlier in 2008, expecting to reach about 61% by the end of the year.

While these figures suggest that almost every second person could be using a mobile phone, the ITU stresses that this need not be the case as “the statistics reflect the number of subscriptions, not persons.”

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