...And wireless for all
The number of worldwide subscriptions for wireless services is poised to hit 5 billion this month - equaling approximately 73.4% of the earth's total human population.
"If the importance of an event can be measured by the number of people it affects, then the proliferation of wireless communications stands out as one of the most significant phenomena in the history of technology," iSuppli principal analyst Dr. Jagdish Rebello told TG Daily in an e-mailed statement.
"Wireless communication now has spread to every nation, every age and every income level, becoming a basic staple like food, clothing and shelter.
"Wireless now represents the biggest stage that any technology market has ever played on, offering unlimited opportunities for members of the mobile communications supply chain."
As expected, the penetration of wireless subscriptions varies widely by regions.
For example, on the high side is Western Europe - where there are more subscriptions than citizens - with penetration hitting 157.6 percent.
In sharp contrast, wireless use amounts to only 50 percent in the combined Africa and Middle East region.
"[Nevertheless], because of the prevalence of mobile communications, the focus of the global technology supply chain has shifted away from the slower-growing computer market toward fast-expanding wireless-oriented platforms.
"Furthermore, the vast size of the installed base means wireless delivers greater opportunities for content and service developers to reach a large portion of the population," he added.