THE world now has nearly as many mobile phone subscriptions as inhabitants.
The UN telecom agency said there were about six billion subscriptions by the end of 2011 - roughly one for 86 of every 100 people.
In a new report, the International Telecommunication Union said China alone accounted for a billion subscriptions, and India is expected to hit the billion mark this year.
The Geneva-based agency says 2.3 billion people - or about one in three of the world's seven billion inhabitants - were internet users by the end of 2011, but there's a strong disparity between rich and developing countries.
ITU says 70pc of people who use the internet live in wealthier, industrialised countries, compared with 24pc who live in poorer, developing nations.