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90 percent of world to have mobile coverage

Can that be correct? 90 percent?

That’s the figure being bandied about by the GSM Association, which says that by 2010, up to 90 percent of the world’s population will be able to get mobile phone coverage. Astoundingly, the GSMA says that the figure is now 80 percent.

The key word here is coverage. A full 80 percent of the world now has the potential to have cell phone service. That doesn’t mean that all those people actually have cell phones and are actively using them. Still, we’re talking potential here, and any good scientist can tell you that it takes just a spark to flip potential energy into kinetic reality.

The industry study that is quoting all these figures was done by Intelecon Research, at the direction of the GSMA. The research firm is urging telecom operators to focus more on mobile coverage and less on fixed-line services, which they say are more expensive and labor-intensive.

Another key barrier to many people using mobile phones is the current tax being levied on their use. Remove that kind of hurdle, Intelecon argues, and the number of people who use mobiles will increase dramatically.

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