The Numbers

Informa Telecoms & Media says 44% of all mobile subscriptions in the world were accounted for by just ten operators at the end of Q3 2005. That’s equivalent to 900m subscriptions. A total of 177.5m keeps China Mobile at the top of the list, with Vodafone Group (161.9m) in second place.

Leading Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo says it increased its subscriber base to over 50.3 million in December.

3 owner Hutchison Whampoa says its 3G subscribers rose 10% in Q4 2005 to hit 11m worldwide. Hutchison operates in a total of nine countries.

LG expects to sell over 70m phones in 2006, up from 55m last year. The company says it will be focussing on more high-end handsets.

A survey by the Global mobile Suppliers Association GSA notes that 272 3G devices (mainly handsets but also products like PC datacards) were in the market on 6 January 2006. This compares with 108 products a year ago. GSA reported last month that 100 3G networks had launched commercial services in 42 countries.

Total US sales of mobile phones will reach $16bn this year according to the annual industry forecast of the US Consumer Electronics Association. Some 104m handsets were sold in 2005 for a total of $13.5bn.
Nokia used the launch of three new Bluetooth headsets at CES to confirm that it sees a healthy future for Bluetooth technology – it is predicting that global sales of Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones will hit 220m units in 2006, a rise of 65% on the 2005 total.

The final figures haven’t yet been published, but 2005 is set to be another record year for text messaging – November saw 2.79bn SMS texts sent, an average of 93m per day. That takes the 11-month total to 29bn.