The Economist : Telecommunications Worldwide
Friday, May 28, 2010
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an industry group, reckons that at the end of 2009 the world had two mobile-phone subscriptions for every three people. That does not mean that two-thirds of the world’s population has a mobile phone: some people have more than one; in developing countries many people share; and unused SIM cards sometimes remain active. The rapid spread of mobile phones contrasts sharply with the decline of fixed-line phones. The number of landlines per 100 people peaked at 19.5 in 2006, and had fallen to 17.8 by the end of last year. As recently as 2002, less than a tenth of the world’s population used the internet. According to the ITU, more than a quarter now do.