Oct 15

Trade in your old phoneThe world population is just over 7 billion people, a number I can’t even begin to visualize. Last year the Telecommunication Union said there were just over 5 billion subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2010. This year they claim that at the end of 2011, there were just over 6 billion… Which means by the end of this year, there may be as many subscriptions as there are people on the planet. Does that mean everyone in the world will have a cell phone? Of course not, but the number is impressive nonetheless.

China and India each account for 1 billion to that number, which isn’t surprising considering how many people live there. The biggest driving factor to the sudden jump in subscriptions were developing countries, mostly in Africa. Many phones from Europe and the US, mostly used cell phones, get sold into these countries at a much lower cost while cell towers are added to the region. This is both great for those developing countries population, as well as the worlds population as a whole. By reusing these phones we cut down on the 130 million that end up in landfills every year. Not to mention help those developing countries develop even fast by means of telecommunication.

Not everyone will have a phone of course. Many people have more than one account, especially businesses that give their employees their own cell phone, which causes one person to have two or more accounts associated to them. While cell phone use is on the rise, broadband (like 3g and 4g coverage) is still far behind. In some countries there is 1 broadband subscription for every 100 basic cell phone subscriptions. Not surprising since those systems are slower to upgrade than normal cell towers. Even the US has a much lower 4g coverage map than 3g or basic cellular.

The country with the most advance cellular system? South Korea of course, which has been known to have the most advance internet for some time now. The reason behind this is that South Korea is considered one of the cellular developing capitals of the world. Where many of the cell phone advances originate. It’s a small country with a less spread out population, making upgrades to their broadband systems much easier and cheaper.  Japan takes the number 8 spot with European countries taking the number between them and Korea.

Here I am talking about all these other countries, but what about the US? Surely we have some kind of stat associated with this report. We do in fact, just this past year broadband use in the US has gone up 104%, which is amazing. This stat has been associated with 4g spreading across the nation, as well as the rise in tablet use, which typically comes with a 3g or 4g connection. As technology advances and coverage expands we’ll continue to see this number grow every year. Eventually Broadband connections may see these same jumps as they begin to replace basic cellular coverage worldwide. You can check out the full worldwide cellular report here!

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