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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 17:34 EDT

World Mobile Subscribers Top 2 Billion

September 18, 2005

HELSINKI (Reuters) — The number of mobile phone subscribers in the world has surpassed the 2 billion milestone Wireless Intelligence, an information service set up by industry body GSM Association and consulting firm Ovum, said on Sunday.

“The bulk of the new growth now is coming from large, less well-developed markets such as China, India, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa,” Wireless Intelligence said in a statement.

The largest mobile phone maker, Finnish Nokia, said last month it expects the 2 billion mark to be reached in the October-to-December quarter and 3 billion by 2010.

“The total number of mobile connections is now equivalent to nearly a third of the estimated world population of 6.5 billion,” Martin Garner, director at Wireless Intelligence, said in a statement.

“Although total connections are higher than the real number of users due to multiple connections, or inactive pre-paid connections, this is still a significant landmark for the industry,” he added.

Nokia, which sold 31.9 percent of all phones in the second quarter, according to researchers Gartner, is followed by U.S. Motorola with 17.9 percent of the market and Korean Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. with 12.8 percent.