Posted by: Noni | June 9, 2011

Half of world’s population owns a mobile phone, UN study reveals

The International Telecommunications Union, a UN agency, estimates that there are around 4.1 billion mobile phone subscribers across the globe, up from one billion in 2002, with developing nations one of the fastest-growing markets

A child holds a newly-released mobile phone called 'Mo 1', which is produced by a Spanish toy brand, during a news conference in Hong Kong

Starting young: More than half the world’s population — an estimated 4.1 billion people — own a mobile phone, according to the United Nations Photo: AP

More than half of the world’s population owns a mobile phone, according to the United Nations.

In 2009 the International Telecommunications Union, a UN agency, estimates that there are around 4.1 billion mobile phone subscribers across the globe, up from one billion in 2002, with developing nations one of the fastest-growing markets.

In countries such as India and many African nations, mobile phones are used for banking purposes and as a secure way to send money between relatives. Many small traders in areas that lack fixed line phone networks also use mobile phones to run their business, sending text messages to clients to inform them of the latest prices, and arrange delivery of products to far-flung towns and villages.

The UN estimates that people in developing nations now account for around two-thirds of all mobile phones users, compared to just under half of all subscriptions in 2002.

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