90% of customers in mature markets and 94% in transition markets worry about mobile security. Image Credit: techmoran
90% of customers in mature markets and 94% in transition markets worry about mobile security. Image Credit: techmoran
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According to real-time data from GSMA Intelligence, on Tuesday recorded its 5 billionth unique mobile subscriber. The 5 billion milestone means that more than two-thirds of the global population is now connected to a mobile service.

“Reaching the 5 billion subscriber milestone is a tremendous achievement for an industry that is only a few decades old, and reflects the many billions of dollars that mobile operators have invested in networks, services and spectrum over many years,” commented Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA.

“Today mobile is a truly global platform, delivering connectivity and, perhaps more importantly, social and economic opportunities to citizens in all corners of the world. This massive reach allows the mobile industry to be a key player in delivering global initiatives such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals1,” Granryd added.

More than half (55%) of mobile subscribers are based in the Asia Pacific region, which is home to the world’s two largest mobile markets: China and India. China accounts for more than a billion of the world’s subscribers, while India accounts for 730 million.

The most highly penetrated region in the world is Europe, where 86% of citizens are subscribed to a mobile service. Sub-Saharan Africa is the least penetrated region at 44%.

It is forecast that the number of unique mobile subscribers worldwide will increase to 5.7 billion by the end of the decade. By that point, almost three-quarters of the world’s population will subscribe to a mobile service. India is expected to account for the largest share of growth over this period, responsible for around 30% of new unique subscribers by 2020.

“Subscriber growth opportunities over the coming years will be focused on connecting mainly rural, low-income populations; operators are developing a range of sustainable solutions to deliver affordable connectivity to underserved communities,” added Granryd.

“Meanwhile, in mature markets where subscriber growth is slowing, operators are evolving their business models to capture increasing value within the expanding mobile ecosystem, and providing the platform for a new digital world as we enter the 5G era.”

Region

Unique mobile subscribers (millions)

% of global subscriber base

Subscriber penetration (% of population)

Asia Pacific

2,765

55%

68%

  •    – China

1,081

21%

78%

  •    – India

730

14%

54%

Europe

465

9%

86%

Latin America

459

9%

71%

Sub-Sahara Africa

436

9%

44%

Middle East & North Africa

391

8%

63%

North America

292

6%

80%

CIS

227

5%

79%

TOTAL:

5,035

100%

67%

Unique Mobile Subscribers by Global Region, Q2 2017 
Source: GSMA Intelligence

source: GSMA Intelligence Newsroom