The World is in Your Pocket

by Jeremy Powers on July 13, 2010

Tomi T Ahonen has posted a note I simply cannot get my head wrapped around.  His note is titled, “Big Milestone – world now has 5 Billion active mobile phone subscriptions.”

If you are like me, it is difficult to wrap your head around this number, but Tomi does a nice job of trying to add clarity:

Thats the equivalent of one mobile phone subscription for 73% of the total population of the planet. Or to put it another way, if we assume all ‘adults’ on the planet have a phone, the age point of at what point all have a phone is now at age 14. So ‘mathematically’ there is a mobile phone subscription for every live human on the planet who is older than age 15 (and falling). That will pass age 13 by year end…

Take a second and read that again.  This is the global average.  If you are in the service business and you cannot reach your employees during the day, YOU are the extreme exception.  Here is some more from Tomi:

Wireless Intelligence also tells us that the penetration rate leaders are Western Europe where on average there are 130% mobile phones per capita. The laggard is of course Africa, which has already climbed past the half point with 52% penetration rate per capita. Eastern Europe is the only other region to have passed 100%. Cool.

These statistics are “per capita,” which means they include the entire population, even infants.  In reality, over one third of the adult population in Western Europe now has at least two active mobile accounts.  Including children, over half of AFRICA now has an active mobile account.

When you hear me preach your customers expect to be able to reach you, this is why.  This is also why mobile couponing and messaging is going to continue to grow at a rapid pace.

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