5 Billion Wireless Subscriptions Worldwide, Coming Right Up!

Five billion. That's a lot of faces, a lot of eyes, and a lot of ears. It's also a lot of humans talking amongst one another, and according to a new iSuppli report, that's the number of wireless subscriptions that our planet is home to. Almost, anyway. The report estimates that the grand total of wireless subscriptions in the world will surpass the 5 billion mark this month, which equals nearly 75% of the world's population. Imagine that. 3 in 4 people, with a cell phone. It's also too crazy to believe.

Dr. Jagdish Rebello, senior director and principal analyst for wireless research at iSuppli, had this to say about the impending milestone: "If the importance of an event can be measured by the number of people it affects, then the proliferation of wireless communications stands out as one of the most significant phenomena in the history of technology. Wireless communication now has spread to every nation, every age and every income level, becoming a basic staple like food, clothing and shelter. Wireless now represents the biggest stage that any technology market has ever played on, offering unlimited opportunities for members of the mobile communications supply chain."

The global installed base of wireless devices will amount to 4.9 billion at the end of 2010. The remaining subscribers will be accounted for by additional Subscriber Identification (SIM) modules used in mobile handsets and services to Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications systems. And in places like Western Europe, there are actually more wireless lines than people to handle them, proving that many folks do indeed carry multiple phones. The data is all pretty stunning; we have to be somewhat close to a saturation point with all of this, one would think. But at the rate that smartphone sales are going, we aren't so sure that there's still a lot of steam left...

Global Wireless Subscriptions Reach 5 Billion
September 17, 2010
Jagdish Rebello, PhD
Marking a major milestone in the history of technology, the number of worldwide subscriptions for wireless services is expected to reach 5 billion this month, equaling 73.4 percent of the earth’s population, according to the market research firm iSuppli Corp.

“If the importance of an event can be measured by the number of people it affects, then the proliferation of wireless communications stands out as one of the most significant phenomena in the history of technology,” said Dr. Jagdish Rebello, senior director and principal analyst for wireless research at iSuppli. “Wireless communication now has spread to every nation, every age and every income level, becoming a basic staple like food, clothing and shelter. Wireless now represents the biggest stage that any technology market has ever played on, offering unlimited opportunities for members of the mobile communications supply chain.”

Wireless for All
After crossing the 5 billion threshold in September, global wireless subscriptions will increase by another 100 million and hit 5.1 billion at the end of 2010, amounting to 74.5 percent of the world’s population. Each of these subscriptions represents a recurring payment for wireless services delivered to a device, ranging from an Ultra Low-Cost Handset (ULCH) to a high-end smart phone.

 Mobile Device Subscriptions

The global installed base of wireless devices will amount to 4.9 billion at the end of 2010. The remaining subscribers will be accounted for by additional Subscriber Identification (SIM) modules used in mobile handsets and services to Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications systems.

The penetration of wireless subscriptions varies widely by regions. At the low end is the combined Africa and Middle East region, where penetration amounts to 50 percent. On the high side is Western Europe, where there are more subscriptions than citizens, with penetration amounting to 157.6 percent. Europeans frequently have multiple subscriptions and phones, allowing them to maintain communications while travelling in different nations that use varying service providers and air standards.

Technology Driver
“Because of the prevalence of mobile communications, the focus of the global technology supply chain has shifted away from the slower-growing computer market toward fast-expanding wireless-oriented platforms,” Rebello said. “The vast size of the installed base means wireless delivers greater opportunities for content and service developers to reach a large portion of the population. Furthermore, the evolution of mobile handsets into smart phones is leading to the deployment of more value-added services, software and components.”

On the software front, the market for preloaded applications that are already included in cell phones when consumers buy them will expand to $7.7 billion in 2014, up from $4.4 billion in 2010.

In terms of components, the wireless communications semiconductor market is set to swell to $80.2 billion in 2014, rising at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.1 percent from $60.9 billion in 2010. In contrast, the data processing semiconductor market will see its revenue expand at a CAGR of only 2.6 percent during the same period. 
Via:  iSuppli
Comments
inspector 4 years ago

I ain't surprised, but i would of though there were more people on earth... lol Seeing how phones are taking over everyone pocket and it would be an embarrassment to say you don't have one. My teacher asked the class "who doesn't have a cellphone?" and no one raised their hands... She also said every other class she asked were the same. I am sure there are at least one or two that didn't have a cell phone :).

realneil 4 years ago

The couple in the photo above are traveling at 75 MPH while they check that map,..........

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