Mobile subscriptions worldwide have hit the impressive milestone of 5 billion, according to ABI. To put it in perspective, there’s currently around 6.7B people roaming the earth, indicating incredible adoption for just one type of device.
A majority of the growth is happening in emerging markets, with Africa leading the way with 4% growth between the first and second quarter of 2010. So much so, that ABI said the continent’s low mobile penetration to date is attracting global service providers such as Vodafone and India’s Bharti to build up wireless infrastructure in Africa.
Still, growth in developed regions like the US, Japan and Europe are still growing. The report says the introduction of high-speed 4G data technologies such as WiMax and LTE will ensure that subscription growth stays strong even in “hyper-saturated” regions. Jake Saunders, ABI’s vice president of research, pointed in particular to the successful launch of the HTC Evo 4G from Sprint, running on the WiMax network built by Clearwire.
ABI expects mobile subscriptions to reach 6.4 billion by 2015, of which 169 million will be to 4G technologies. As if it’s any kind of secret, the sheer fact that nearly every single person has a mobile device of some kind with them at all times means unprecedented opportunity for mobile marketers.