2.7 billion mobile users in context
~ 19 January 2007 ~
Every so often an article comes along worthy of a good sit-down read, a print and staple, or a bookmark entry.
Tomi Ahonen’s “Putting 2.7 billion in context: Mobile phone users” is not only all of the above, but I’d consider it required reading for anyone considering a foray into mobile content, especially fence-sitters unsure about making the leap.
Ahonen’s lengthy but discerning article compares mobile phone penetration to that of the car, the telephone, the TV, and other forms of ubiquitous technology:
Now we have context. 800 million cars, 850 million personal computers, 1.3 billion fixed landline phones, 1.4 billion credit cards, 1.5 billion TV sets. How many mobile phones in use today? In use today, yes, 2.7 billion…. Three times as many mobile phones as automobiles or personal computers. About twice as many mobile phone owners as those of fixed landline phones or credit cards. And almost twice as many mobile phones in use as TV sets.
Of course, many of those 2.7 billion subscribers access internet content on their devices, and web usage is rising:
During 2007 the first cross-over will happen, with more users accessing [the internet] via phone than PC. Fascinating data coming on that usage as well, the Japanese regulator reports that those who access the web via mobile phone do so more frequently than those who access via a PC.
So important is mobile penetration and revenues thereof for the companies, organizations, and governments involved that regions such as Africa are
…in a hurry to increase phone penetration after the OECD study found that increasing mobile phone penetration results in the greatest benefit to the GDP of an emerging country. Better benefit than providing computers, electricity, roads etc. You don’t need a literate population to have benefits from phones, but you do need literacy for personal computers.
For some of you, this all comes as preaching to the choir. But for the rest of you, I echo Ahonen’s closing remarks:
Whatever your business or interest, going mobile now will give you a competitive advantage. But going mobile next year will be a desperation move to stay in the game. Don’t miss out on this. Mobile is the biggest opportunity going. Where is your business? Where is your mobile strategy?
So, where is it?
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