The New York Times, in an excellent piece about why “the next big thing is small, cheap and not American,” offers this stunner about the ubiquity of cell phones across the globe:

“The number of mobile subscriptions in the world is expected to pass five billion this year, according to the International Telecommunication Union, a trade group. That would mean more human beings today have access to a cellphone than the United Nations says have access to a clean toilet.

5 Responses to “Factoid of the day: Mobile mania”

  1. Two billion people of 6.6 billion do not have regular access to clean drinking water (which you need before you need the toilet). So if the 5 billion mobile phone subscriptions plays out, a billion people will be able to call someone about their lack of access to water.

    In fact, people who have to walk to get their water every day often have cell phone service during the entire time they are walking out to the well, and walking back with water on their heads.

    It says two things: Water is hard to deliver; you can’t ship it wirelessly. And although people don’t like to talk about applying “markets” to water, markets often accomplish things (cell phone service in rural India) that governments and NGOs cannot.

  2. owenshore says:

    However, according to wiki, one person may have more than one mobile subscriptions.

  3. latisha says:

    Not really big on this type of thing, but thought this book deserved a mention. Just read it. “You Have A College Degree, Now What?”

  4. Dan,
    Kenya’s subscriber statistics out yesterday show penetration at over 49% (over 19 million subscribers). Check out this article

    That means businesses need to consider mobile infrastructure as a serious channel because that is one of the ‘trees’ Kenyan’s have gathered under.

  5. Dianne says:

    Love your factoid posts. Write more of them! P.S. You are a cutie! Way to go Mrs. Dan!!!!