Study: Poor drive growth in global cell phone use

Six in ten people around the world now have cell phone subscriptions, signaling that mobiles are the communications technology of choice particularly in poor countries, according to a UN report published Monday.

By the end of last year there were an estimated 4.1 billion subscriptions globally, compared with about 1 billion in 2002, the International Telecommunication Union said.

Fixed line subscriptions increased at a much slower pace to 1.27 billion from about 1 billion over the same period.

“There has been a clear shift to mobile cellular telephony,” the agency said, noting that developing countries now account for about two-thirds of cell phones in use. In 2002 less than half of mobile subscriptions globally were in the developing world, it said.

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