75% of the world has cellphones

A report by the World Bank has revealed
that the majority of the global population has a
mobile phone.
Statistics out of Tuesday show that around 75% of the
world's population has access to a mobile phone and
is an indicator not only of communications, but also
of the the move toward e-commerce on mobile
platforms, the World Bank said.
"The number of mobile subscriptions in use
worldwide, both pre-paid and post-paid, has grown
from fewer than one billion in 2000 to over six billion
now, of which nearly five billion in developing
countries," the global body told News24.
The mobile phone ecosystem has been identified as
an income generator and governments, particularly in
developing countries, have been urged to grow
mobile penetration as a boost to economic growth.
"If the policy makers and ministers of finance take a
longer term view, I think what they will see is that by
actually reducing these taxes, you stimulate socio-
economic development, you end up with a broader
tax base and you actually have a net larger 'take'
down the road," Peter Lyons GSMA director for
spectrum policy in Africa and the Middle East told
News24 recently.
World Bank figures show that for every 10% increase
in mobile penetration, there is a corresponding 0.8%
increase in gross domestic product (GDP).
"Mobile communications offer major opportunities to
advance human and economic development - from
providing basic access to health information to
making cash payments, spurring job creation, and
stimulating citizen involvement in democratic
processes," said World Bank vice president for
Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte.
As the cost of smartphones declines, it gives
consumers in countries where cable broadband
infrastructure is unavailable or unaffordable an
opportunity to participate in the mobile ecosystem.
"The mobile revolution is right at the start of its
growth curve: mobile devices are becoming cheaper
and more powerful while networks are doubling in
bandwidth roughly every 18 months and expanding
into rural areas," said Tim Kelly, lead ICT policy
specialist at the World Bank.
Countries like Kenya and India have pushed mobile
phone adoption with the deployment of services such
as the M-Pesa payment system and deployment of
apps to facilitate interactions between government
and citizens

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