UN says world has 6 billion cellphone subscribers

  • There are almost as many cellphone subscriptions in the world as inhabitants, according to a United Nations telecom agency.

    The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) stated in its report that there were nearly six billion subscriptions at the end of 2011, roughly one for 86 of every 100 people.

    Almost one billion subscriptions were in China.

    The report, titled Measuring the Information Society 2012, looked at 155 countries.

    "We count Sim cards, not the number of devices or people, so if one person has two Sim cards in one device, it counts as two subscriptions; and we count monthly subscriptions as well," said Susan Teltscher, head of the agency's data division.

    Sim cards used in a tablet or in an Internet dongle were not taken into account, she added.

    According to the Geneva-based agency, there were also slightly over two billion people, nearly a third of the world's population, with access to the Internet by the end of last year.