The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has issued a press release and report [PDF file] with a staggering amount of statistics in honor of “World Statistics Day”; can you tell that place is filled with math nerds? Here are some of the more interesting facts and figures:
- By the end of this year there will be 5.3 billion mobile devices out on the market, and of those 940 million will be using 3G.
- About 90% of the world’s population is covered with cellular reception, and in rural areas it’s about 80%.
- In 2007 there were only 97 countries offering 3G service, this year it’s 143.
- Growth in developed countries is slowing down with penetration reaching 116% or 116 phones for every 100 people. From 2009 to 2010 the market grew only 1.6%. Emerging economies however are growing rapidly, where they once accounted for 53% of all mobile subscriptions in 2005, that number is now 73%.
- Africa is lagging behind, with penetration levels reaching only 41%.
- In 2007 there were an estimated 1.8 trillion text messages sent, today it’s something like 6.1 trillion or roughly 200,000 texts every second.
- Assuming text messages cost $0.07 each, operators worldwide made $14,000 per second or $812,000 every minute.
- Over a third of all text message traffic happens in just two countries: the United States and the Philippines.
- This year the number of internet users will surpass 2 billion with the largest market being China and their 420 million users.
Wrapping your head around all those numbers makes you really appreciate how dynamic and lucrative the mobile market really is, and why everyone is jumping in with both feet. They want a piece of the action. Now that smartphone adoption is on the rise, and operators have to upgrade their networks to support the upcoming explosive amount of data traffic, what new dynamics in terms of service usage and market growth are we going to see?
Watch this space, we love numbers.