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Over 4 Billion Mobile Connections Worldwide

February 11, 2009

Industry association GSMA said on Wednesday, that the number of connections on mobile phone networks has crossed the 4 billion mark work wide, and they expect 6 billion by 2013.

In many mature markets, one user may have two mobile phones, or a phone and a mobile data device, which would both count as two connections, so the number of connections does not translate directly into the number of users.

About a fifth of connections are estimated to be due to one user having more than one device in Western Europe.  This figure probably applies to many developed markets, according to a GSMA spokesman.

However, in developing countries, phones are often shared.

In the run-up to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the wireless industry’s biggest trade show, the GSMA said some 100 million connections were “mobile  broadband” connections.  This refers to mobile data connections using the high-speed HSPA standard.

The figure shows how popular “dongles” are, an instrument used to connect laptops to the Internet via mobile phone networks, as well as phones with high-speed data connections like Apple’s iPhone 3G, or Samsung’s BlackJack 2.

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