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Mobile Phone Service, the Great Equalizer

Despite turmoil in world financial markets over the last year the trillion dollar mobile communication industry continues to confound expectations with spectacular accelerating growth.

A new market study by Portio Research reveals that over half the world now uses a mobile phone and predicts that 80 percent of the world's population will be doing so by the end of 2013 -- a staggering 5.8 billion people.

Among the top 20 growth markets ranking list (2007-2013) there are few surprises. China wins the top spot, just ahead of India. These two countries are expected to contribute over 1 billion additional subscribers during this time.

Brazil comes in a distant third with 132 million additional subscribers over the same period. Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, are also expected to experience high growth estimated at CAGR 13.3 percent, 10.7 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile despite rising worldwide mobile voice and data revenues mobile ARPU continues to decline and is predicted to fall from $23.2 in 2005 to $15.8 by the end of 2013, largely because additional subscriber growth is likely to come from low per capita income markets.

Portio's report provides a comprehensive breakdown of mobile handset market share, Nokia is still in the lead shipping over 437 million handsets during 2007, while Samsung has displaced Motorola from the number two spot. In the first two quarters of 2008 LG displaced Sony Ericsson from the number four spot.

"In 2006 we predicted that over half the world would be using a mobile phone by 2009 thought by many to be wishful thinking at the time," said John White, Business Development Manager at Portio Research.

"Despite this the mobile industry achieved this milestone early in 2008 and continues to be a beacon of good news amid the daily gloom and doom of the last year. This report suggests that this will continue."

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