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Mobile Cellular Subscribers per 100 of population, 2006

Source: International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Statistics Database

This chart indicates, how far back India and China still are in the use of modern communication technology. Only one in six Indians is a subscriber of mobile cell phone service, and only about half of the cell phones are digital. China has more then twice the cell phone density of India and 100% of its cell phone services are digital - but compared to the US and Europe, cell phone subscribers are still a minority.

Due to its extensive network of copper-based landline phones, the United States of America has been lagging behind Europe in cell phone services. Less than 80% of the population has access to a mobile cell phone service; and only 90% of these services are digital. In fact, digital cell phone service in the US is quite poor as compared to most European countries. Services are usually unreliable and often not available at all - as in many rural areas, subways or trains.

Europe has, by far, better cell phone services than any other major region of the world. With the exception of France, almost everyone in Europe, on average, has access to cell phone services. In many European countries subscribers substantially exceed 100% of the population - indicating that people often have two (or even three) cell phone subscriptions. It is not uncommon that people have a cell phone for their home, their car and at work. Moreover, almost all cell phone services in Europe are digital and geographical coverage is widespread. In Austria, for instance, one can use digital cell phone services on alpine ski slopes, all subways of Vienna and all trains.

Digital cell phone service with reliable coverage across the country is a major factor in modern telecommunication infrastructure. It greatly expands individual flexibility and modern forms of mobile work; and it promotes the creation of new services.

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This data section was updated on 18 December 2011

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Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Gerhard K. Heilig. All rights reserved. - 18 April 2012