Worldwide mobile phone user base hits record 3.25b

Global mobile phone use will top 3.25 billion, equivalent to around half the world's population, in 2007 as mobile phone demand booms in China, India and Africa, a survey, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

The Reuters report said from African farmers to Chinese factory workers, mobile phone subscriptions will pass the 3 billion mark in July and exceed 3.25 billion by the end of the year, according to a report by UK-based telecoms analysis company The Mobile World.

The world's population is forecast to hit around 6.6 billion in July, according to U.S. figures.

Along with the Internet, the mobile phone has revolutionized communication, the Reuters report said. The mobile phone has spread from city whiz kids to Brazilian slum dwellers, the report said.

More than 1,000 new customers are effectively signing up for mobile phones every minute around the world, the survey, quoted by a Reuters report said.

Analysts have forecast that 65% of all handsets made this year will be sold in emerging markets as manufacturers, such as Nokia of Finland and Motorola of the US, push out low-cost phones and mobile phone operators cut call charges, the Reuters report said.

The figures cited in the survey take account of multiple mobile subscriptions by customers, the Reuters report said.
Penetration in Europe has topped 100% of the population, with 666 million mobile connections.