Number of mobile subscriptions worldwide 1993-2019

The total number of mobile subscriptions is estimated to have exceeded eight billion for the first time, reaching 8.3 billion subscriptions in 2019. The overall figure climbed by approximately 393 million subscriptions from 2018 to 2019.

More smartphones than people

With a global population of 7.7 billion as of 2020, the number of smartphone subscriptions now significantly exceeds the number of people on the planet. This comes off the back of an extraordinary period of growth. The penetration rate broke 100 in the United States in 2014, and has been over 100 in countries including the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia for several years longer.
On other continents, such as Africa, the penetration rate has also increased steadily. Cameroon, for example, increased by 39.3 percent from 2010 to 2019, with 81.76 mobile subscriptions per 100 residents as of 2019, and the rate exceeded 100 in Kenya for the first time in 2019.

Moving towards 5G

5G subscriptions are forecast to increase worldwide from 2019 to 2025. The number of 5G mobile subscriptions worldwide is forecast to exceed 2.7 billion by 2025, with North East Asia, North America, and Western Europe having the most 5G subscriptions.

Number of mobile (cellular) subscriptions worldwide from 1993 to 2019

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period

1993 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* Estimate

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Statistics on "Mobile communications"

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