Some incredible facts: The GSM Association has stated in a press release that 1000 new GSM subscribers are added around the globe every minute. They further say that it took GSM 12 years to reach 1 billion subscribers but only two and a half years to reach the second billion. Almost 30% of the earth's population is now in possession of a mobile phone.
These days the phenomenal growth is mostly coming from countries like China, India and Africa. I guess the second billion is especially challenging to serve as monthly revenues in these countries per subscriber is probably very low. But wireless networks have come a long way since GSM was launched in 1992 and both networks and mobile phones today only cost a fraction of the prices 10 years ago.
While voice undoubtedly is still the main application for wireless networks in both rich and poor countries, the mobile Internet is catching up. Take a recent BBC article for example in which they state that a third of all WAP pages served to users outside the U.K. are requested from Nigeria. They state that their WAP page access has now accumulated to over 58 million pages per month. A staggering number, just as the 1000 new users a minute.