WASHINGTON, July 23 (UPI) -- Three-quarters of the world's population have access to a mobile phone, a six-fold increase since 2000, a report by the World Bank said.
The 1 billion global mobile phone subscriptions in 2000 have grown to more than 6 billion, of which almost 5 billion are in developing countries, a World Bank release reported.
With multiple subscription ownership increasing, active mobile subscriptions are likely to soon total more than the global human population, the report said.
The rapid growth of Internet-enabled smartphone ownership is changing how owners use their phones, the World Bank said, with more than 30 billion mobile apps being downloaded in 2011.
"In developing countries, citizens are increasingly using mobile phones to create new livelihoods and enhance their lifestyles, while governments are using them to improve service delivery and citizen feedback mechanisms," the report titled "Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile" said.
The report analyzed the growth and evolution of mobile telephony and the rise of data-based services, including apps, to handheld devices.
"The mobile revolution is right at the start of its growth curve: mobile devices are becoming cheaper and more powerful while networks are doubling in bandwidth roughly every 18 months and expanding into rural areas," Tim Kelly, a information policy specialist at the World Bank and one of the report's authors, said.
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