Mobile cellular subscriptions - Country Ranking

Definition: Mobile cellular telephone subscriptions are subscriptions to a public mobile telephone service that provide access to the PSTN using cellular technology. The indicator includes (and is split into) the number of postpaid subscriptions, and the number of active prepaid accounts (i.e. that have been used during the last three months). The indicator applies to all mobile cellular subscriptions that offer voice communications. It excludes subscriptions via data cards or USB modems, subscriptions to public mobile data services, private trunked mobile radio, telepoint, radio paging and telemetry services.

Source: International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report and database.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 China 1,286,093,000.00 2014
2 India 944,008,700.00 2014
3 United States 355,500,000.00 2014
4 Indonesia 325,582,800.00 2014
5 Brazil 280,728,800.00 2014
6 Russia 221,030,400.00 2014
7 Japan 152,695,700.00 2014
8 Nigeria 138,960,300.00 2014
9 Vietnam 136,148,100.00 2014
10 Pakistan 135,762,000.00 2014
11 Bangladesh 126,866,100.00 2014
12 Philippines 111,326,000.00 2014
13 Mexico 101,787,700.00 2014
14 Germany 99,530,000.00 2014
15 Thailand 97,096,000.00 2014
16 Egypt 95,316,030.00 2014
17 Italy 94,226,350.00 2014
18 South Africa 79,280,730.00 2014
19 United Kingdom 78,460,690.00 2014
20 Turkey 71,888,420.00 2014
21 Iran 68,891,150.00 2014
22 Argentina 66,382,760.00 2014
23 France 65,425,000.00 2014
24 Ukraine 61,170,230.00 2014
25 Korea 57,290,360.00 2014
26 Poland 56,905,300.00 2014
27 Colombia 55,330,270.00 2014
28 Saudi Arabia 52,735,000.00 2014
29 Spain 50,760,770.00 2014
30 Malaysia 44,928,600.00 2014
31 Morocco 44,114,540.00 2014
32 Algeria 37,113,130.00 2014
33 Dem. Rep. Congo 37,102,960.00 2014
34 Kenya 33,632,630.00 2014
35 Iraq 33,000,000.00 2014
36 Peru 31,880,040.00 2014
37 Tanzania 31,862,660.00 2014
38 Australia 31,010,000.00 2014
39 Venezuela 30,528,020.00 2014
40 Ethiopia 30,490,000.00 2014
41 Ghana 30,360,770.00 2014
42 Myanmar 29,029,340.00 2014
43 Canada 28,789,000.00 2014
44 Kazakhstan 28,595,600.00 2014
45 Sudan 27,796,610.00 2014
46 Chile 23,683,350.00 2014
47 Mali 23,505,560.00 2014
48 Afghanistan 23,423,740.00 2014
49 Nepal 23,021,340.00 2014
50 Uzbekistan 22,997,000.00 2014
51 Romania 22,920,000.00 2014
52 Sri Lanka 22,123,000.00 2014
53 Côte d'Ivoire 22,104,580.00 2014
54 Cambodia 20,451,980.00 2014
55 Uganda 20,365,940.00 2014
56 Netherlands 19,562,000.00 2014
57 Mozambique 18,482,640.00 2014
58 Cameroon 17,270,310.00 2014
59 Yemen 17,100,000.00 2014
60 Hong Kong SAR, China 16,959,460.00 2014
61 Guatemala 16,911,810.00 2014
62 United Arab Emirates 16,819,020.00 2014
63 Ecuador 16,605,740.00 2014
64 Senegal 14,379,730.00 2014
65 Tunisia 14,283,630.00 2014
66 Angola 14,052,560.00 2014
67 Syrian Arab Republic 14,039,750.00 2014
68 Czech Republic 13,913,100.00 2014
69 Austria 12,952,610.00 2014
70 Belgium 12,734,720.00 2014
71 Burkina Faso 12,496,390.00 2014
72 Sweden 12,312,530.00 2014
73 Greece 12,270,680.00 2014
74 Portugal 11,895,630.00 2014
75 Zimbabwe 11,798,650.00 2014
76 Hungary 11,726,490.00 2014
77 Belarus 11,401,930.00 2014
78 Switzerland 11,150,000.00 2014
79 Jordan 11,092,400.00 2014
80 Benin 10,562,650.00 2014
81 Azerbaijan 10,552,520.00 2014
82 Bolivia 10,450,340.00 2014
83 Zambia 10,114,870.00 2014
84 Libya 10,075,600.00 2014
85 Bulgaria 9,870,806.00 2014
86 Madagascar 9,713,883.00 2014
87 Israel 9,500,000.00 2014
88 Serbia 9,344,977.00 2014
89 El Salvador 9,193,342.00 2014
90 Guinea 8,683,500.00 2014
91 Dominican Republic 8,303,536.00 2014
92 Niger 8,236,400.00 2014
93 Singapore 8,103,800.00 2014
94 Tajikistan 7,999,100.00 2014
95 Rwanda 7,747,019.00 2014
96 Honduras 7,725,092.00 2014
97 Finland 7,602,600.00 2014
98 Kuwait 7,600,000.00 2014
99 Kyrgyz Republic 7,563,444.00 2014
100 Paraguay 7,305,277.00 2014
101 Turkmenistan 7,206,100.00 2014
102 Costa Rica 7,101,892.00 2014
103 Denmark 7,100,322.00 2014
104 Nicaragua 7,067,860.00 2014
105 Haiti 6,769,312.00 2014
106 Slovak Republic 6,378,095.00 2014
107 Panama 6,205,238.00 2014
108 Oman 6,194,169.00 2014
109 Norway 5,913,406.00 2014
110 Malawi 5,632,514.00 2014
111 Somalia 5,500,000.00 2014
112 Uruguay 5,497,094.00 2014
113 Georgia 5,400,766.00 2014
114 Chad 5,251,560.00 2014
115 New Zealand 5,100,000.00 2014
116 Congo 4,930,100.00 2014
117 Ireland 4,914,368.00 2014
118 Sierra Leone 4,756,800.00 2014
119 Lao PDR 4,618,586.00 2014
120 Togo 4,516,114.00 2014
121 Croatia 4,461,352.00 2014
122 Lithuania 4,423,483.00 2014
123 Lebanon 4,387,275.00 2014
124 Mauritania 3,753,330.00 2014
125 Moldova 3,738,125.00 2014
126 Bosnia and Herzegovina 3,491,188.00 2014
127 Armenia 3,459,137.00 2014
128 Botswana 3,410,507.00 2014
129 Albania 3,359,654.00 2014
130 Papua New Guinea 3,358,900.00 2014
131 Qatar 3,305,822.00 2014
132 Liberia 3,225,258.00 2014
133 Puerto Rico 3,208,824.00 2014
134 Burundi 3,193,257.00 2014
135 Mongolia 3,027,243.00 2014
136 Jamaica 3,005,490.00 2014
137 Gabon 2,932,731.00 2014
138 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 2,800,000.00 2014
139 Namibia 2,670,983.00 2014
140 Cuba 2,530,752.00 2014
141 Latvia 2,384,000.00 2014
142 Bahrain 2,328,994.00 2014
143 Slovenia 2,326,386.00 2014
144 The Gambia 2,283,691.00 2014
145 Macedonia 2,224,439.00 2014
146 Estonia 2,062,864.00 2014
147 Trinidad and Tobago 1,980,566.00 2014
148 Macao SAR, China 1,856,453.00 2014
149 Lesotho 1,783,356.00 2014
150 Mauritius 1,652,000.00 2014
151 Timor-Leste 1,375,749.00 2014
152 Central African Republic 1,155,620.00 2014
153 Cyprus 1,110,802.00 2014
154 Guinea-Bissau 1,108,297.00 2014
155 Montenegro 1,013,296.00 2014
156 Suriname 927,800.00 2014
157 Swaziland 916,800.00 2014
158 Fiji 876,176.00 2014
159 Luxembourg 802,400.00 2014
160 Bhutan 628,289.00 2014
161 Cabo Verde 613,378.00 2014
162 Guyana 566,905.00 2014
163 Malta 546,229.00 2014
164 Equatorial Guinea 516,540.00 2014
165 Brunei 465,767.00 2014
166 Eritrea 417,400.00 2014
167 Comoros 383,000.00 2014
168 Solomon Islands 376,696.00 2014
169 Iceland 370,047.00 2014
170 Barbados 368,254.00 2014
171 The Bahamas 314,842.00 2014
172 Djibouti 287,049.00 2014
173 New Caledonia 243,100.00 2014
174 St. Lucia 188,351.00 2014
175 Belize 172,300.00 2014
176 Vanuatu 156,051.00 2014
177 Seychelles 151,336.00 2014
178 São Tomé and Principe 128,500.00 2014
179 Antigua and Barbuda 120,041.00 2014
180 Grenada 117,151.00 2014
181 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 115,017.00 2014
182 Samoa 106,524.00 2014
183 Dominica 92,200.00 2014
184 Cayman Islands 91,059.00 2014
185 Tonga 68,000.00 2014
186 Andorra 66,241.00 2014
187 St. Kitts and Nevis 65,000.00 2014
188 Greenland 60,800.00 2014
189 Liechtenstein 40,652.00 2014
190 San Marino 37,600.00 2014
191 Monaco 33,675.00 2014
192 Palau 19,114.00 2014
193 Kiribati 18,100.00 2014
194 Tuvalu 3,800.00 2014

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Development Relevance: The quality of an economy's infrastructure, including power and communications, is an important element in investment decisions for both domestic and foreign investors. Government effort alone is not enough to meet the need for investments in modern infrastructure; public-private partnerships, especially those involving local providers and financiers, are critical for lowering costs and delivering value for money. In telecommunications, competition in the marketplace, along with sound regulation, is lowering costs, improving quality, and easing access to services around the globe. Access to telecommunication services rose on an unprecedented scale over the past two decades. This growth was driven primarily by wireless technologies and liberalization of telecommunications markets, which have enabled faster and less costly network rollout. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that there were about 6 billion mobile subscriptions globally in the early 2010s. No technology has ever spread faster around the world. Mobile communications have a particularly important impact in rural areas. The mobility, ease of use, flexible deployment, and relatively low and declining rollout costs of wireless technologies enable them to reach rural populations with low levels of income and literacy. The next billion mobile subscribers will consist mainly of the rural poor. Access is the key to delivering telecommunications services to people. If the service is not affordable to most people, goals of universal usage will not be met. Mobile cellular telephone subscriptions are subscriptions to a public mobile telephone service using cellular technology, which provide access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) using cellular technology. It includes postpaid and prepaid subscriptions and includes analogue and digital cellular systems. Over the past decade new financing and technology, along with privatization and market liberalization, have spurred dramatic growth in telecommunications in many countries. With the rapid development of mobile telephony and the global expansion of the Internet, information and communication technologies are increasingly recognized as essential tools of development, contributing to global integration and enhancing public sector effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency.

Limitations and Exceptions: Operators have traditionally been the main source of telecommunications data, so information on subscriptions has been widely available for most countries. This gives a general idea of access, but a more precise measure is the penetration rate - the share of households with access to telecommunications. During the past few years more information on information and communication technology use has become available from household and business surveys. Also important are data on actual use of telecommunications services. Ideally, statistics on telecommunications (and other information and communications technologies) should be compiled for all three measures: subscriptions, access, and use. The quality of data varies among reporting countries as a result of differences in regulations covering data provision and availability. Discrepancies between global and national figures may arise when countries use a different definition than the one used by ITU. For example, some countries do not include the number of ISDN channels when calculating the number of fixed telephone lines. Discrepancies may also arise in cases where the end of a fiscal year differs from that used by ITU, which is the end of December of every year. A number of countries have fiscal years that end in March or June of every year. Data are usually not adjusted but discrepancies in the definition, reference year or the break in comparability in between years are noted in a data note. For this reason, data are not always strictly comparable. Missing values are estimated by ITU. Mobile subscriptions include both analogue and digital cellular systems (IMT-2000 (Third Generation, 3G) and 4G subscriptions, but excludes mobile broadband subscriptions via data cards or USB modems. Subscriptions to public mobile data services, private trunked mobile radio, telepoint or radio paging, and telemetry services are also excluded, but all mobile cellular subscriptions that offer voice communications are included. Both postpaid and prepaid subscriptions are included.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Refers to the subscriptions to a public mobile telephone service and provides access to Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) using cellular technology, including number of pre-paid SIM cards active during the past three months. This includes both analogue and digital cellular systems (IMT-2000 (Third Generation, 3G) and 4G subscriptions, but excludes mobile broadband subscriptions via data cards or USB modems. Subscriptions to public mobile data services, private trunked mobile radio, telepoint or radio paging, and telemetry services should also be excluded. This should include all mobile cellular subscriptions that offer voice communications. Data on mobile cellular subscribers are derived using administrative data that countries (usually the regulatory telecommunication authority or the Ministry in charge of telecommunications) regularly, and at least annually, collect from telecommunications operators. Data for this indicator are readily available for approximately 90 percent of countries, either through ITU's World Telecommunication Indicators questionnaires or from official information available on the Ministry or Regulator's website. For the rest, information can be aggregated through operators' data (mainly through annual reports) and complemented by market research reports.

Aggregation method: Sum

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Please cite the International Telecommunication Union for third-party use of these data.