The Cellular Explosion

Cell phone subscriptions have increased six-fold in only ten years. Today, nearly six billion subscriptions are active worldwide. Paralleling this explosive growth is a rapid improvement in coverage: 90% of the world’s population has access to a mobile cellular signal, compared to 61% in 2003.

Mobile phones have been a particular boon in the developing world, where cellular networks have leapfrogged conventional telephone systems. In 2000, only 35% of cellular subscriptions were in less-developed countries; that number has grown to nearly 75%.

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Sources: World Bank (map data); International Telecommunication Union

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