With the number of global mobile subscribers passing the 1.5 billion mark in the first week of June, the industry looks set to break the two billion barrier by as early as July 2006.
Research from analyst EMC forecasts that the two billion milestone will be reached ahead of recent industry predictions, with global additions of more than 240 million subscribers in both 2004 and 2005.
Despite long since reaching saturation point in western Europe, the mobile industry is still poised for sustained growth through emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil.
Kester Mann, senior research analyst at EMC, said in a statement: "With a global mobile penetration rate of just 23 per cent there are still almost five billion potential new mobile users worldwide and this represents a tremendous opportunity for the industry."
He added that continued subscriber growth can be achieved by further widening the market for mobile services to include people previously unable to afford a mobile phone service or who have lived outside areas of coverage.
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