The push for the next billion, by John C. Tanner

Friday, April 29, 2005

One of the top themes at this year’s 3GSM World Congress in February was “the next billion mobile users.” Six weeks later, it’s looking more like “the next few billion mobile users.”
The mobile industry has been talking about “the next billion” since the one billionth mobile user signed on somewhere in mid-2003. Now, it’s more than halfway there, and the mobile industry is already looking ahead to the three-billion mark.
“In 2003, when the world reached one billion mobile users, we were expecting to see that grow to two billion by 2007,” observes Henrik Brogaard, GM of New Growth Markets, Asia-Pacific, for Nokia Networks. “Now it seems like we’re going to see two billion by the end of this year, and now we’re looking at three billion by 2010.”
The unexpected surge of growth in the past 18 months has even prompted the World Bank to report in late February that mobile is closing the “digital divide” faster than anyone had anticipated. The WSIS initiative backed by the UN, for example, set a goal of 50% access to telecoms in some form or other by 2015. According to the World Bank, however, 77% of the world’s population lives within range of a mobile network today. That works out to around five billion people who live within range of a base station.
Story found here.

Source: Wireless Asia