The Top 5 Countries with the Most Mobile Phone Connections

  Country Mobile Connections Population
China 812 million connections 1.331 billion
India 693 million connections 1.15 billion
United States 296 million connections 307 million
Russia 220 million connections 142 million
Indonesia 197 million connections 230 million
Sources:  Wireless intelligence, World Bank (via) Time Magazine Vol. 177, No.4, Jan, 2011.
List Notes: Data is for the year 2010. A connection represents a single device or SIM card.
  1. There are 1.2 million new GSM connections every day and in 2006, cellular services accounted for 1.6% of the global economy. (a.)
  2. More than 1 billion mobile phones were sold in the year 2007. The world's best selling phone is the Nokia 1100 which has sold more than 200 million units globally. (a.)
  3. Nearly 7 billion text messages are sent every day. The first text message was sent in 1992. The msg was "merry xmas". Now, more than 80% of the world's population are covered by GSM networks. (a.)
  4. 64% of mobile phone users are in emerging markets. The four billion connections mark was surpassed at the end of 2008, the five billion mark was surpassed in 2010 and analysts at Wireless Intelligence predict six billion connections worldwide by the middle of 2012. (a.)
  5. The total number of SMS sent globally tripled between 2007 and 2010, from an estimated 1.8 trillion to 6.1 trillion. Close to 200,000 text messages are sent every second. Assuming an average cost of $0.07 per SMS (USD), in 2010 SMS traffic generated an estimated $812,000 (USD) every minute or $14,000 every second. (b.)
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. Mobile Planet. (2007). "20 Facts for 20 Years of Mobile Communications." Retrieved Jan, 2011.
  2. International Telecommunications Union. 2010. "The World in 2010." Retrieved Jan, 2011.