Worldwide Mobile Subscriptions Forecast to Exceed Five Billion by 4Q-2010


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SINGAPORE - June 30, 2010 -

ABI Research forecasts over five billion mobile subscriptions by the end of 2010, with an approximate 4.8 billion connections having been reached by the end of the year's first quarter. Much of this growth will be registered in developing markets in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.


Africa remains the fastest growing mobile market with a YoY growth of over 22%. Mobile penetration in Asia-Pacific will rise significantly to 65% by the end of 2010. "This unprecedented growth is driven by India and Indonesia, which have together added over 150 million subscriptions in the past four quarters," comments ABI Research analyst Bhavya Khanna. "Falling monthly tariffs and ultra-low-cost mobile handsets have democratised the reach and use of the mobile phone, and aggressive rollouts by mobile operators in these countries will see the current rate of subscriber addition maintained for some time to come."  


At the other end of the spectrum, developed countries in North America and Europe continue to add subscriptions despite already having crossed the 100% penetration threshold. Driving this growth in subscriptions are new mobile devices and the ‘third screen' - including netbooks, tablet computers, USB dongles and e-book readers. "The success of Apple's iPad 3G shows that even operators in saturated markets can add subscriptions by introducing innovative and user-friendly devices," says vice president of forecasting Jake Saunders.


In addition, the introduction of 4G data networks such as WiMAX and LTE will see more consumers ditch their cables and access the Internet through mobile broadband connections.  Operators such as Clearwire in the United States and Yota in Russia have seen consumers turn to their networks as fast and mobile alternatives to fixed-line broadband.


ABI Research's "Wireless Subscriber Forecasts" series of Market Data products - North and South America, Asia-Pacific, Western and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Worldwide - tracks key subscription trends by quarter by operator for over 120 markets. The database forms part of ABI Research's The Mobile Consumer Research Service which also includes Research Reports, market updates, industry databases, ABI Insights and analyst inquiry support.


ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of emerging trends in global connectivity. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research's worldwide team of experts advise thousands of decision makers through 28 research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit, or call +1.516.624.2500.


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