Fixed access lines are quickly evaporating in the US and China as mobile substitution evolves.
The number of mobile subscribers grew 17.4% in 2008, while access line subscribers declined 5.5%, according to the latest report from Infonetics.
The report claims that in 2008 mobile subscribers outnumbered fixed-line subs fourfold, 3.9 billion vs.1 billion, with the recession playing a significant role in users ditching their fixed lines.
“The global recession did not prevent people from using communication services, but it clearly accelerated the pace of wireline-to-mobile substitution,” said Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile and FMC.
China - with half a billion mobile subscribers in 2008 - and India together made Asia-Pacific the world's largest mobile subscriber region, Téral said. “The EMEA region is next, with strong growth driven by Africa.”
The report forecasts that total mobile subs will reach 5.9 billion by 2013, driven mainly by basic voice demand, particularly in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).