By the end of this month, more than 5 billion wireless subscriptions will be in service, equivalent to nearly three in four people on the planet, iSuppli has estimated.
Subs are expected to increase by another 100 million by year-end to 74.5% of the world's population, the research firm said.
The global installed base of wireless devices will by then be 4.9 billion, with the remaining subscribers accounted for by multiple SIMs and M2M systems.
Subscriber numbers are expected to grow to 5.5 billion in 2011 and by nearly a billion more between 2012 and 2014 to hit 6.4 billion.
“Wireless communication now has spread to every nation, every age and every income level, becoming a basic staple like food, clothing and shelter,” iSuppli senior director and principal wireless analyst Dr Jagdish Rebello said.
“If the importance of an event can be measured by the number of people it affects, then the proliferation of wireless communications stands out as one of the most significant phenomena in the history of technology.”