Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people) - 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 Macao SAR, China 332.09 2016
2 Hong Kong SAR, China 233.99 2016
3 Bahrain 216.93 2016
4 United Arab Emirates 204.02 2016
5 Jordan 196.31 2016
6 Antigua and Barbuda 194.08 2016
7 Thailand 172.65 2016
8 Panama 172.30 2016
9 Montenegro 167.48 2016
10 Austria 166.14 2016
11 Russia 163.26 2016
12 Seychelles 161.23 2016
13 Trinidad and Tobago 160.61 2016
14 Costa Rica 159.23 2016
15 Oman 159.22 2016
16 Botswana 158.53 2016
17 Cayman Islands 157.68 2016
18 Turkmenistan 157.67 2016
19 Saudi Arabia 157.60 2016
20 Argentina 150.67 2016
21 Kazakhstan 149.99 2016
22 Indonesia 149.13 2016
23 Uruguay 148.71 2016
24 Estonia 148.68 2016
25 Luxembourg 147.84 2016
26 Qatar 147.10 2016
27 Singapore 146.92 2016
28 Kuwait 146.55 2016
29 Poland 146.21 2016
30 Suriname 145.94 2016
31 Mauritius 144.24 2016
32 Gabon 144.17 2016
33 South Africa 142.38 2016
34 Malaysia 141.17 2016
35 El Salvador 140.75 2016
36 Lithuania 140.71 2016
37 Italy 140.43 2016
38 The Gambia 139.63 2016
39 Ghana 139.13 2016
40 St. Kitts and Nevis 136.87 2016
41 Switzerland 135.62 2016
42 Cyprus 134.48 2016
43 Finland 134.48 2016
44 Ukraine 132.64 2016
45 Israel 131.67 2016
46 Kyrgyz Republic 131.38 2016
47 Latvia 131.16 2016
48 Netherlands 129.95 2016
49 Japan 129.75 2016
50 Georgia 129.09 2016
51 Vietnam 128.04 2016
52 Slovak Republic 127.99 2016
53 Bulgaria 127.23 2016
54 United States 127.16 2016
55 Chile 127.12 2016
56 Sweden 126.67 2016
57 Côte d'Ivoire 126.01 2016
58 Tunisia 125.82 2016
59 Timor-Leste 125.01 2016
60 New Zealand 124.98 2016
61 Cambodia 124.94 2016
62 Malta 124.82 2016
63 Belarus 124.17 2016
64 Denmark 122.89 2016
65 Korea 122.65 2016
66 United Kingdom 122.32 2016
67 Nicaragua 122.14 2016
68 Cabo Verde 122.02 2016
69 Morocco 120.72 2016
70 Brunei 120.67 2016
71 Serbia 120.62 2016
72 Mali 120.31 2016
73 Libya 119.78 2016
74 Hungary 119.11 2016
75 Brazil 118.92 2016
76 Sri Lanka 118.49 2016
77 Iceland 118.01 2016
78 Colombia 117.09 2016
79 Peru 117.06 2016
80 Algeria 117.02 2016
81 Liechtenstein 116.40 2016
82 Jamaica 115.57 2016
83 Czech Republic 115.47 2016
84 Guatemala 115.34 2016
85 Barbados 115.00 2016
86 Armenia 114.78 2016
87 Slovenia 114.56 2016
88 Germany 114.53 2016
89 San Marino 114.49 2016
90 Egypt 113.70 2016
91 Mongolia 113.63 2016
92 Congo 113.35 2016
93 Greece 112.76 2016
94 Nepal 111.70 2016
95 Palau 111.52 2015
96 Grenada 111.12 2016
97 Belgium 111.01 2016
98 Moldova 110.99 2016
99 Norway 110.07 2016
100 Spain 109.74 2016
101 Australia 109.61 2016
102 Namibia 109.19 2016
103 Philippines 109.17 2016
104 Portugal 109.09 2016
105 Dominica 107.43 2016
106 Tajikistan 106.68 2016
107 Lesotho 106.57 2016
108 Greenland 106.50 2015
109 Romania 106.43 2016
110 Azerbaijan 106.28 2016
111 Albania 105.06 2016
112 Paraguay 104.77 2016
113 Croatia 104.11 2016
114 Ireland 103.65 2016
115 France 103.45 2016
116 Fiji 103.30 2016
117 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 102.98 2016
118 Macedonia 100.69 2016
119 Iran 100.07 2016
120 New Caledonia 98.91 2015
121 Senegal 98.68 2016
122 Sierra Leone 97.62 2016
123 Nauru 97.30 2016
124 China 96.88 2016
125 Turkey 96.87 2016
126 Lebanon 96.37 2016
127 St. Lucia 94.82 2016
128 The Bahamas 91.82 2016
129 Honduras 91.22 2016
130 Bolivia 90.75 2016
131 Myanmar 89.26 2016
132 Bosnia and Herzegovina 89.25 2016
133 Bhutan 88.78 2016
134 Mexico 88.23 2016
135 Puerto Rico 87.75 2016
136 Andorra 87.19 2016
137 Venezuela 86.99 2016
138 India 86.95 2016
139 Mauritania 86.52 2016
140 Monaco 86.26 2016
141 Guinea 85.33 2016
142 São Tomé and Principe 85.28 2016
143 Ecuador 84.30 2016
144 Canada 84.06 2016
145 Burkina Faso 83.63 2016
146 Zimbabwe 83.18 2016
147 Liberia 83.10 2016
148 Iraq 82.18 2016
149 Nigeria 81.82 2016
150 Kenya 81.28 2016
151 Dominican Republic 80.83 2016
152 Benin 79.65 2016
153 Bangladesh 77.88 2016
154 Uzbekistan 77.33 2016
155 Tuvalu 76.44 2016
156 Swaziland 76.37 2016
157 Zambia 74.95 2016
158 Togo 74.91 2016
159 Tonga 74.67 2016
160 Tanzania 74.36 2016
161 Pakistan 71.39 2016
162 Vanuatu 71.30 2016
163 Guinea-Bissau 70.26 2016
164 Rwanda 69.92 2016
165 Solomon Islands 69.89 2016
166 Samoa 69.19 2016
167 Sudan 68.63 2016
168 Cameroon 68.11 2016
169 Yemen 67.17 2016
170 Guyana 66.43 2016
171 Mozambique 66.25 2016
172 Afghanistan 66.00 2016
173 Equatorial Guinea 65.90 2016
174 Belize 63.87 2016
175 Haiti 60.54 2016
176 Somalia 58.12 2016
177 Comoros 57.66 2016
178 Lao PDR 55.39 2016
179 Angola 55.28 2016
180 Uganda 55.07 2016
181 Syrian Arab Republic 54.23 2016
182 Kiribati 51.31 2016
183 Ethiopia 50.51 2016
184 Niger 48.87 2016
185 Papua New Guinea 48.56 2016
186 Burundi 48.04 2016
187 Chad 44.48 2016
188 Madagascar 41.79 2016
189 Malawi 40.32 2016
190 Dem. Rep. Congo 39.48 2016
191 Djibouti 37.82 2016
192 Cuba 35.49 2016
193 Central African Republic 25.49 2016
194 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 14.26 2016
195 Eritrea 7.29 2016

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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. Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people) indicator is derived by all mobile subscriptions divided by the country's population and multiplied by 100.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

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