A world with more phones than peopleby Rebecca J. Rosen, nextgov.com
July 19th 2012
A new report from the World Bank details the astounding growth of mobile since the year 2000. Then -- just 12 years ago -- there were less than a billion mobile subscriptions worldwide. Today, there are more than 6 billion and the count will "will soon exceed that of the human population," according to the Bank (it is common in many countries for one person to own multiple SIM cards). Three-quarters of the world population now has access to a mobile phone. A comparison between mobile and landline subscriptions shows just how bananas mobile is -- both in the pace of its diffusion around the world and, today, its predominance.
Even at the height of landline subscriptions there were "only" about one billion globally, and it took more than a century to get there. Of course, mobile and landlines require different infrastructure and most people did not have an individual landline but rather a household one. But even taking those differences into account, the spread of mobile is representative of a globalized economy in which new technologies can spread farther and faster than ever before.
Read more at The Atlantic
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