21 October 2014

Mobile phone access reaches three-quarters of planet's population

19 July 2012  |  8629 views  |  0 iPhone on top of Keyboard

Around three-quarters of the world's population now have access to a mobile phone, sparking the creation of an emerging 'app economy', according to a new report by the World Bank.

The number of mobile subscriptions in use worldwide, both pre-paid and post-paid, has grown from fewer than 1 billion in 2000 to over 6 billion now, says the World Bank, of which nearly 5 billion are in developing countries. Last year alone, mobile users worldwide downloaded more than 30 billion apps.

The report explores the consequences for development of this emerging 'app economy', especially in agriculture, health, financial services and government, and how it is changing approaches to entrepreneurship and employment in the developing world.

The report emphasises the role of governments in enabling mobile application development and highlights how mobile innovation labs - shared spaces for training developers and incubating start-ups - can help bring new apps to market.

Valerie D'Costa, program manager of infoDev, the World Bank's technology entrepreneurship and innovation arm, says: "Most businesses based around mobile app technology are at an early stage of development, but may hold enormous employment and economic potential, similar to that of the software industry in the 1980s and 1990s. Supporting the networking and incubation of entrepreneurs is essential to ensure that such potential is tapped."

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)
Log in to receive notifications when someone posts a comment

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board, sign up now.

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)

Related stories

13 July, 2012
22 June, 2012
19 June, 2012
13 June, 2012
25 April, 2012
20 April, 2012
24 October, 2011
08 April, 2011
23 February, 2011
29 April, 2010
30 September, 2009
15 September, 2009

Related company news

 

Featured job

Basic £130-140K Variable £70-90K
London (preferred) or Paris

Find your next job