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April 25, 2007


Colm Larkin

Hi Tomi,

"As a percentage of total human population, it means there is a mobile phone subscription for 41.4% of the human race."

While your wording makes the stat correct, comparing subscriptions to total population is a bit misleading since so many people have 2. It's a better comparison when you use the number of unique people with mobile phones (2.1B).

This gives you the stat that 32% of everyone on earth has a mobile phone. At almost 1/3rd that's pretty amazing.



thank you very nice topic, thankks :)

Tomi Ahonen

Hi Colm and emlak

Thank you for visiting and posting your comments

Colm - good point, but I do make that later in the blog entry, that for the first time we have a count of second subscriptions and the unique human population of phone owners is 2.1 billion. We've been early proponents of that measure, and have highlighted the fact in various postings (and in fact in all of my books) that there is an increasing part of the population who have two or more subscriptions (and often also phones).

emlak - thank you.

Thanks for visiting our site and commenting


Interesting statistics. So how many mobile base stations do you think are in China to support all their mobile users?

And how many will they have to add over next five years?


Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Jamie

Good question. The rule of thumb says for a mid-sized country like UK, Italy, Spain etc has about 10,000 base stations for one cellular network. Very large countries like USA for example, either in area or population, will have much more.

I saw a recent article (could have been Financial Times or Wall Street Journal or something like that) which actually had a quotation on the number of base stations they expect to deploy for the 3G upgrade in China, and it was in the tens of thousands of base stations, but sorry, I didn't clip that article...

But yes we're looking at a very large amount of network infrastructure to be deployed. The interesting part is that for most of Europe (densest mobile networks) the 3G upgrade is done for the large part, so the network vendors like Ericsson, Nokia-Siemens, Lucent-Alcatel, Nortel etc as well as the Chinese domestic vendors Huawei and ZTE etc - there now is good capacity to fulfill the Chinese needs. It would have been difficult to add that capacity need two or three years ago...

Thanks for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)






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