Worldwide mobile telephone subscriptions reached 3.3 billion -- equivalent to half the global population -- on Thursday, 26 years after the first cellular network was launched, research firm Informa said. Since the first Nordic Mobile Telephony (NMT) networks were switched on in 1981 in Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Norway, mobile phones have become the consumer electronics sector with the largest volume of sales in the world.
"The mobile industry has constantly outperformed even the most optimistic forecasts for subscriber growth," Mark Newman, head of research at Informa said in a statement. "For children growing up today the issue is not whether they will get a mobile phone, it's a question of when." In recent years the industry has seen surging growth in outskirts of China and India, helped by constantly falling phone and call prices, with cellphone vendors already eyeing inroads into Africa's countryside to keep up the growth.
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