The worldwide mobile users subscription have reached to 8.3 Billions by 2019 more than human population(7.7 Billion in 2019). This is almost 900% rise as compared to the 2001 data, where mobile subscriptions were limited to 962 millions.
In 2001, there were 962 million subscribers of GSM mobile when the world population was 6.2 Billion. The major contributors were USA, European Union, East Asia and Australia.
Mobile communications started after the invention of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication). In 1990, first generation of mobile communication initiated. Frequency band of 900 MHz were popular in North America (USA, Canada), while GSM 1800 were popular in Europe: UK, Finland, Germany. Similarly, GSM 1900 MHz were most used in Japan.
The commercial use of mobile communication started by 1993, when GSM entered outside of Europe. Telstra Australia was the first country outside of Europe to sign GSM MoU networks on air in 18 territories.
Following the connections in China and Russia in 1996, there were almost 100 countries with 200 operators officially using mobile services. In 2000, there were 0.7 Billion subscribers of mobile users.
In 2001, there were 15.5 mobile users per 100 persons and by 2019, the users have surpassed to 108.0 per 100 inhabitant. This suggest that, people are using multiple operators to leverage the services and benefits.
Developing countries Contribution!
If we look at the global stats for mobile subscriptions, the developing countries accounts the highest. In 2019, there was 6.6 billion subscribers from developing countries while only 1.6 billions from developed ones, contributing more than 75% on total.
The developed countries are more focused in adopting latest technology like 5G while developing countries are struggling in providing 4G LTE. Many countries of developing countries in Africa and South Asia are still searching ways to expand the basic telephony 2G services.
India’s and China’s contribution!
If we look the statistics of both countries of 2018, there are 1,649,301,700 subscribers in China and 1,176,021,869 in India. The total contributors will be greater than 2.8 billion.
According to a report by the United Nations Population Fund, India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019 to 1.36 billion which is more than double the annual growth rate of China. This rise in population in these two countries will surely add more number in mobile users in upcoming years.
In addition, the cheap and affordable data services in India brought by Jio Communications have helped in sky-rocketing the mobile subscriptions and market penetration. Mukesh Ambani CEO of Jio, have launched the JioPhone at almost 25$ which will also be refunded after 3 years making affordable to unprivileged and people who couldn’t afford phones. They expect to sell 100 millions phone by 2020. Another reason being Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s digital India campaign, which has also triggered the usage of smartphones.
In China, with huge R&D facilities, companies like ZTE and Huawei are producing cheap and affordable telecom and networking equipment’s. With this in mind, they have been always upgrading their technology leaving other countries behind making accessible to each and every people reaching every corner of the geo.
Africa is still the least!
If we look the latest data as of 2019, Africa is has only 80.1 people subscribed to mobile usage out of 100. According to the theafricareport, the main reasons are due to expensive data rates and poor connectivity in rural areas.
Data shows, in Zimbabwe, a gigabyte costs $75.20, which is 289 times as much as in India, making it the most expensive country for data. While, MTN Nigeria’s lowest and cheapest data plan costs 100 Naira or $0.28 for 50 megabytes of data and is valid for only 24 hours.
Reports also supports that the illiterate people in Africa have also created a hinder in usages of smartphones. In 2017, only 65% of total population were literate, remaining 35% were reluctant in adopting the new technologies.
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4G is expanding while 5G in Fighting!
From 1G (First Generation) mobile communication to 5G (Fifth Generation) mobile communication, there had been a lot of changes. One of the key changes is in the speed of the data, which was focused from 3G onwards while voice communication was important upto 2G but later, data got important.
Now the most deployed mobile communication is 4G LTE aka Fourth Generation- Long Term Evolution. The theoretical download speed of 300Mbps and upload speed of 150Mbps was proposed but ptactically upto 50Mbps download is achieved.
To commence the demand of data, 4G LTE network is deployed in over 120 countries by over 400 telecom operators worldwide. Developed countries account significantly higher but still to address the user’s hunger for data: developing countries are also making good progress in 4G deployment.
In contrast to 4G, there have been a race against development of 5G among China, S. Korea, European countries and English countries(US/UK/Canada). China’s leading telecom and networking company, Huawei is the leading operator to produce and deploy the 5G equipment’s worldwide.
Tense have been come forth after US banned China’s products particularity Huawei’s underlying security concerns in May 2019. Although this may be true but this news states that the sanctions by US on Chinese tech firms is a consequence of 5G progress made by China. Not only this, there have been an unspoken cold war among these two countries.
To be sure, 3GPP, an international telecommunications standard development organization, found Huawei leads in 5G standard-setting contributions. Huawei have registered highest number of 5G patients of 3,147 as of January 2020, followed by Samsung, ZTE and LG Electronics. Nonetheless, American company Bell Labs, which was a leader in telecom equipment’s in earlier versions have loosed this game.
United States have urged their allies countries to boycott the use of Chinese equipment’s for the fear that they may lead to potential risk in national security and intelligence. Following the same, UK have recently announced they will remove Huawei’s 5G equipment by 2027. Other countries: India, Canada, Belgium, Australia, Brazil are also monitoring about the security threats and likely to posed banned.