number of mobile phone users was 986 million in 2011, with a year-on-year increase of 14.81 per cent, according to a study by Analysys International.
Similarly, the number of 3G users was 128 million last year, it said, projecting that the number of 3G users is expected to exceed 300 million this year. "The penetration rate of mobile phones was over 70 per cent and penetration rate of 3G was 13 per cent last year."
The growth of mobile phone users will slow down in the current year,
the study projected. "It will reach 1,111 million this year."
The popularity of smartphones and demands for bandwidth required by mobile internet will accelerate the transition of 2G mobile phone users moving to 3G networks, it explained, predicting that a user group of 3G will develop this year and the number might exceed 300 million and the penetration rate of 3G may exceed by a quarter.
Similarly, the overall telephone penetration rate in Nepal, according to Nepal Telecommunications Authority, has touched 60.34 per cent in mid-March from 58.66 per cent in mid-February.
Meanwhile, around 53 per cent of mobile internet users in India, Kenya, Indonesia, Ghana and Nigeria have engaged in mobile banking and payment activities. In Kenya, over 96 per cent of mobile internet users have engaged in a financial activity via their mobile, according to a report by mobile research specialist On Device Research.
The report also found that using mobile phones for financial activities is also popular in rural areas, with almost equal penetration as compared to urban usage in some countries. "Sending airtime credits is the most popular mobile finance activity, with 28 per cent transferring credit," it said, adding that the airtime can be used as a form of currency to pay for goods and services.