More SIMs on Earth than people – the machines are coming!

7 Oct 2014

The world’s population of 7.2bn human beings has just been surpassed by the number of mobile connections, including machine-to-machine (M2M) devices, according to analytics from GSMA Intelligence.

At the time of writing there were 7,227,767,457 mobile connections logged by GSMA Intelligence statistics, up 6.10pc on the previous year.

While the numbers indicate there are now more mobile devices in use than people, the figures show that the number of unique mobile subscribers stands at about half the world’s population at 3,599,106,629 at the moment of writing – up 5.3pc on last year.

The GSMA Intelligence figures also show that all these connected devices and people are yielding revenue of US$1.1trn so far this year, up 3.75pc on last year.

However, perhaps driven by the proliferation of apps and messaging services, such as Viber, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, as well as free communications over Wi-Fi services, such as Skype, average revenue per user (ARPU) is on the decline.

ARPU globally stood at US$12.15 at the time of writing, down 3.97pc on last year.

Mobile phone user image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years