The number of mobile connections worldwide reached five billion in the first week of July, according to research from The Mobile World.
The first quarter of this year saw net additions of 168 million, taking the total to 4.82 billion, and the second quarter gain is likely to have surpassed this figure, with China and India adding 50 million in April and May alone.
The Chinese and Indian markets are the world’s largest, according to The Mobile World; they accounted for almost 28% of the global total at the end of the first quarter, but their contribution to the net quarterly gain in connections was double this at 56%. In absolute terms, the two markets added 94 million in the three months ending 31 March 2010.
By contrast, the G7 nations accounted for just 4.6% of the first quarter gain. Excluding the US, this figure falls to a mere 1.7%. The BRIC grouping (Brazil, Russia, India and China) made up 59.2% of the total net additions, and the so-called ‘Next Eleven’, which includes Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico and Iran, contributed 20.1%.
With the world population at around 6.8 billion, the global mobile penetration rate stood at just under 71% at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter figure is likely to be around 73%, while the 100% level will be reached before the end of 2014, the research showed.