Worldwide Mobile Subscriptions will rise from 3.9 billion in 2008 to 5.6 billion in 2013, according to a new Strategy Analytics report, ‘Worldwide Cellular User Forecasts, 2008-2013’. As a result, the company predicts that more than half the world’s population will be using mobile phones by early 2010.

The main contributors to the increase in mobile subscriptions are the Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa regions. These areas are expected to be responsible for 80 per cent of mobile subscription growth through to 2013.

“These two regions may be driving the subscription count, but they contribute much less to global revenues,” said director of Global Wireless Practice at Strategy Analytics, Phil Kendall. “Asia Pacific and MEA account for nearly 60 per cent of worldwide subscriptions, but less than 40 per cent of revenues. Their increasing significance will reduce average revenues per subscription by 15 per cent over the next five years”.

By 2013, 3G networks will account for half of the overall mobile subscriptions, according to Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, senior analyst, Wireless Network Strategies at Strategy Analytics. “3G technologies will reach critical mass in more regions in 2008, driving worldwide subscriber numbers close to 500 million by year end. Next year, more than one third of all service revenues will be generated by 3G technologies, even though 3G accounts for only one in six subscribers,” said Welsh de Grimaldo.