Six in ten people around the world now have cell phone subscriptions, signaling that mobiles are the communications technology of choice particularly in poor countries, according to a UN report published Monday.
By the end of last year there were an estimated 4.1 billion subscriptions globally, compared with about 1 billion in 2002, the International Telecommunication Union said.
Fixed line subscriptions increased at a much slower pace to 1.27 billion from about 1 billion over the same period.
"There has been a clear shift to mobile cellular telephony," the agency said, noting that developing countries now account for about two-thirds of cell phones in use. In 2002 less than half of mobile subscriptions globally were in the developing world, it said.