Worldwide Mobile Subscriber Penetration


With 42% penetration in 2008 and 53% penetration by 2014 worldwide.

US Mobile Subscriber Penetration


With 88% penetration in 2008 and 104% penetration by 2014 in the United States. The above numbers for the US matches the penetration numbers reported by CTIA for 2008 of 88%; as I blogged the other day, “as of today, CTIA reports there are 269,605,965 subscribers in the US, while the US census shows there are 305,477,551 people in the US (Dec 24 2008)”. By 2014 US subscriber based is projected to be past 100%.

Yes the above numbers for the US are lower and slower than other parts of the world, but taking into consideration the size of the US population, it really is a great penetration (i.e., it is much harder and takes longer to penetrate a very large population).

There is a correlation between population size and subscriber penetration. To show this below you can see the correlation between “advanced country” as defined by Tomi Ahonen’s in his book Mobile as the 7th Mass Media (a great book that I recommend) vs. size of population, with Japan being the exception; the list below follows the order of “Advanced Mobile Countries” table in page 285 of the book:

  • Japan Population: 127,433,494 (July 2007 est.)
  • Korea, South Population: 49,044,790 (July 2007 est.)
  • Italy Population: 58,147,733 (July 2007 est.)
  • Austria Population: 8,199,783 (July 2007 est.)
  • United Kingdom Population: 60,776,238 (July 2007 est.)
  • Finland Population: 5,238,460 (July 2007 est.)
  • Israel Population: 7,112,359 (July 2008 est.)
  •         :
  • Singapore Population: 4,553,009 (July 2007 est.)
  •         :
  • Hong Kong Population: 6,980,412 (July 2007 est.)
  •         :
  • France Population: 64,057,792 (July 2008 est.)
  •         :

The following countries are not in the list of advanced countries, but have the largest population:

  • China Population: 1,321,851,888 (July 2007 est.)
  • India Population: 1,129,866,154 (July 2007 est.)
  • United States Population: 301,139,947 (July 2007 est.) — in Texas alone as of 2006 there were 23,507,783


Source: Frost & Sullivan | Visions 2009 Paradigm Shifts in Mobile & Wireless Communications | J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., CIA World Factbook, Fact Monster, US Census Bureau