4.6bn mobile subscribers by year-end - ITU

Mobile subscriptions will rise to 4.6bn by the end of this year, boosted by a continuing mobile phone boom in emerging economies, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

That represents about two mobile subscriptions for every three people in the world, although in developed economies many people have more than one subscription.

Mobile broadband subscriptions will top 600 million in 2009, with fixed broadband subscribers at 500 million, the  ITU added.

The organisation said its latest statistics highlighted major regional discrepancies, with mobile broadband penetration rates still low in many African countries and other developing nations.

There is one fixed broadband subscriber for every 1,000 inhabitants in Africa, compared with Europe where there are some 200 subscribers per 1,000 people.

The relative price for communications services, especially for broadband, is highest in Africa.

 - Reuters

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