More mobiles than inhabitants in the world

There are now more mobile telephone lines than people in the world, according to the latest figures published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Specifically, in 2017 there were 7.74 billion mobile lines in the world, which is 103.5% of the global population.

In developed countries, mobile penetration is now at 127.3%. Meaning there are 127.3 mobile lines per 100 inhabitants. In developing countries, penetration is at 98.7%, while least-developed countries have 70.4 lines per 100 inhabitants.

If we analyse mobile broadband subscriptions, penetration in developed countries is approaching 100% (last year it was 97.1%). In this case, however, the global average is much lower, at 56.4%, and in least-developed countries it drops to 22.3%. Worldwide, there are 4.22 billion broadband mobile subscriptions.

The situation of landlines is quite different, however, losing ground each year. In this case, global penetration is just 13%. In developed countries, there are just 37.3 landlines per 100 inhabitants. In developing countries, landline penetration is at 8%, while in least-developed countries it is just 0.9%.

The graphs below show the evolution of mobile penetration, mobile broadband subscriptions and landlines in recent years globally and by type of country (developed, developing or least-developed):