Half the world to use cell phones in 2007

Posted by Mark Raby

London (England) - A record breaking three billion people will have used a cell phone this year, according to estimates from a new survey.

The Mobile World, a London-based telecommunications research firm, predicts that 3.25 billion mobile phone subscriptions will be active by the end of the year.  This is the first time it will pass the three billion milestone, accounting for around half of the global population.

China, India, and Africa are a big part of the boost, adding to the already massive list of subscribers in more developed countries.  The survey showed that more than 16 new subscriptions are activated every second.

According to Mobile World co-founder John Tysoe, it took more than two decades to reach the first billion mobile subscribers.  It took about three and a half years to bring that number up to two billion, and the climb to three billion was less than 24 months after that.

Mobile service records continue to be smashed seemingly every month, from the amount of data transferred over wireless networks to the number of handsets sold.  Ringtones alone have become a billion-dollar-a-year industry, according to industry follower 6starreviews.com.