World Bank Reports 6 Billion Mobile Phone Subscription Worldwide
The World Bank recently released a report disclosing that the number of mobile phone users over the past 12 years has skyrocketed from 1 billion in 2000 to 6 billion now.
The report, released in Washington on Tuesday by the Bank and infoDev, was titled “Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile.” It highlights the transformative potential that mobile applications holds for different sectors of the economy and the potential they bring for stimulating economic growth and entrepreneurship in developing economies.
The report also revealed that 75% of the world’s population has access to mobile phones, and that in 2011 alone, more than 30 billion mobile apps had been downloaded.
Furthermore, people in developing countries are relying on their mobile phones to create new livelihoods and enhance their lifestyles. Governments are also widely using mobile phones to improve service delivery and citizen feedback mechanisms.
The advent of mobile phones has given people new and exciting ways to stay connected with friends and family, as well as do business and ease boredom. These days, people just don’t make phone calls or send SMS through their mobile devices, but also do their shopping, read news, play games, listen to music, and anything you could possibly think of.
“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. “The challenge now is to enable people, businesses, and governments in developing countries to develop their own locally-relevant mobile applications so they can take full advantage of these opportunities,” he added.