Feeds

One billion people use GSM phones

Boldly going where no phone has gone before

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More than one billion people worldwide now enjoy the benefits of GSM, the GSM Association says.

This helped generate global GSM revenues of $277bn in 2003 - a figure expected to rise to over $500bn in 2005, according to a white paper from Deutsche Bank.

The study claims that GSM is closing the digital divide because mobile comms can go where no fixed line dares to tread: Gareth Jenkins, telecoms analyst at Deutsche Bank, said that GSM has made a real impact on people's lives by bringing modern telecommunications services to "chronically under-served communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America".

The one billion punters comprise one sixth of the global population - equal to the number of people who have no access to safe drinking water.

According to Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association, the record figure was reached last month, a little earlier than expected.

The association claims up to 80 per cent of new phones are GSM phones, and says that uptake of wireless technology means that mobiles now outnumber fixed landlines. More handsets are in daily use than the total number of personal computers and televisions combined, according to this study.

The huge popularity of mobile phones in poor countries is unsurprising. They are a great way of getting communications to places where alternative technologies would be astronomically expensive. But it is a moot point if mobiles are simply closing the telephonic - as opposed to the digital - divide.

In the last twelve months, GSM added nearly 198 million new users - more than CDMA, the second-placed mobile technology, had in its global customer base at the end of 2003. According to the Deutsche Bank study, at least 85 per cent of the world's next-generation wireless customers will use the GSM family of technologies - GSM/GPRS, EDGE and 3GSM - for both voice and data services. ®

Related stories

2003 was record year for mobile phone shipments
Vodafone tops 130m customers
Global mobile data users to exceed 115m

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.