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It’s Official – Mobile Phones Now Outnumber People

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Number of active mobile devices tops 7.2 billion across the world

New data has revealed what many of us have suspected for a long time – mobile phones and other connected devices really are taking over the world.

Figures from the GSMA have revealed that the number of mobile devices across the world has now surpassed the human population as more and more of the world becomes connected.

The findings come from the GSMA’s real-time Intelligence tracker, which measures the amount of active mobile connections in the world, which topped the 7.2 billion mark last night.

This includes an estimated 250 million M2M (Machine-to-Machine) connections, according to CNET.

Globe in space with network © MR.LIGHTMAN - FotoliaSmartphone singularity?

The GSMA tracker currently shows that there are 3.6 billion unique mobile subscribers across the world, a 5.35 percent growth from 2013, and a figure which is steadily increasing as networks expand, particularly throughout Asia and Africa.

This means, however, that more than half of the world’s population still don’t have access to a mobile phone, and therefore the connectivity benefits this can provide.

“No other technology has impacted us like the mobile phone. It’s the fastest growing manmade phenomenon ever – from zero to 7.2 billion in three decades,” said Kevin Kimberlin, chairman of Spencer Trask & Co, the company behind Millicom, a start-up which has partnered with Facebook and Internet.org to help bring mobile connections to the developing world.

“Today, you can do everything with a mobile phone,” said Leonard Gubar, Director of Millicom, adding that the development of the mobile phone was “miraculous.”

The tracker also currently records the worldwide mobile market revenue during 2014 at $1.1trn, up 3.75 percent from last year.

Last month, another study by the GSMA claimed that by 2020, there will be six billion smartphones in the world, meaning they will account for two thirds of the world’s mobile market.

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