The First > New Column > Library Mobile > Worldwide Mobile Phone Adoption and Libraries > Searcher v. 18 no. 3 (April 2010) p. 48-51.
According to statistical data compiled by the International Telecommunications Union (ITC), a United Nations agency concerned with information and communication technology issues, by the end of 2009, there were more than 4.6 billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide, representing an ownership rate of 67% per 1,000 inhabitants [snip]. The ITC data also indicated that cell phone ownership is nearly universal in the developed world (97%) and that nearly one-half of the developing world (45%) owned cell phones by the middle of 2007 [snip]
Informa Telecoms & Media's Global Mobile Forecasts (2009) predicts that there will be more than 5.3 billion mobile phone subscribers by the end of 2012. This report noted that "it took over 20 years to reach 3 billion subscriptions ... but another 1.9 billion net additions are forecast in just six years, with the global total nudging past the 5 billion milestone in 2011." Informa Telecoms & Media, a "leading provider of business intelligence and strategic services to the global telecoms and media markets," forecasted that "78 percent of global net additions between 2007 and 2013" will come from markets in Asia Pacific, Africa, and Latin America. Specifically, it noted that 47% of the 1.9 billion would come from India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, and Russia. On the other hand, it predicted that "North America and Western Europe will contribute only 8 percent of total additions, reflecting the high level of saturation. ... Globally, [mobile phone] subscription penetration will approach the 75 percent mark in 2013, while some countries will push past the 150 percent barrier" [snip]