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Growth in mobile phone access in developing nations 2002-2009




Friday, February 26, 2010



Some time ago in one of my posts I shared with you, why it’s better to invest in some mobile phone related business in developing countries like India than in some related to PC internet. I based my assertion on the fact that mobile phone is much more popular in developing countries (virtually everyone has a cell phone) compared to PC internet; and that too the growth in mobile phone reach is much faster than the PC internet.

That said, I want to add that with the basic phones increasingly being replaced by more advanced phones the world over (smartphones or a device with connectivity); mobile phone popularity is going to stay for long and achieve new records even in the developing countries.

A recent data by United Nations, gives some more insight on the mobile phone popularity in developing countries and the world over; and how mobile phone use has literally skyrocketed in the last few years.
According the UN study, there were about 1 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide. Today there are a whopping 4.6 billion, and the rate of growth still continues. In developing nations alone, 57 percent of people have mobile phones.

By comparison, other new technologies are left much behind. Internet users comprised 11 percent of the world population in 2002. Today that has grown to 26 percent. Although a huge leap, as laying fixed internet access is a infrastructure intensive activity, which majority of developing counties can’t afford to undertake), still it’s nothing compared to mobile phone access, as around 80 percent of people in developing nations still don’t have no access to internet. Those having access to are also distributed very non-uniformly, with big and populous countries like China, accounting for the major share.



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