The GSMA also found that growth in subscriber numbers will slow in developed countries, and that the greatest potential lies with ‘unconnected’ populations
Research by the GSMA has found that by the end of this year total mobile connections will stand at 6.8 billion.
The GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, also found there is a huge difference between the number of connections and the number of individual subscribers.
The total number of mobile subscribers globally will stand at 3.2 billion by Q4 2012, growing to 4 billion within the next five years.
Future growth, the GSMA says, “will be driven by demand among currently ‘unconnected’ populations in developing countries, particularly those in rural areas” which the research estimates to be 1.8 billion people throughout the next five years.
Subscriber penetration in developed countries is set to pass 80 per cent in 2017 and is expected to slow, which means the largest factor spurring global mobile growth over the next five years is the increase of subscriber penetration across developing countries.