Wow. This mobile phone market is fairy tale market indeed. Who would have imagined, this 20 years ago? Still no India and China, the two most populated countries in the world, coming anywhere in the percentage penetration. I reckon, this is going to be the dollar spot for the wireless world.

The Economist, latest edition [1] brings out this fascinating statistics on the mobile penetration, listed country wise.

Tiny Luxemberg has a whopping 1.6 mobile phones per person on the average (That is 160 mobile phones per 100 people). Most of the mainland European countries are around the century mark when it comes to GSM phones. I was a little surprised to see Japan trailing behind a little bit (only a little from the leaders) on it. When I started working on the 3GPP modem design in 1999, the market trend and demands were heavily pouring from Japan. Looking at the way things moved, the Japaneese were expected to have two 3G phones per person:-) Well, I was kidding. Japan and Korea as well have average of 80 phones per 100 people of the population. This figure is more than stunning.

I have my brains doing busy calculations to stretch this figure for India and China in five years time. Buoy! Isnt there an ocean of market available for grab? You count a pair of billions and assume only 50% penetration. No wonder, the 3G spectrum will sell at a premium much higher than the cricket telecast rights in India.

If you go by a pure urban scan, the mobile phones are almost anybodies right. I reckon more than 80% of the households would have it. This should translate to something like 30-40% per person phone ratio. This is strictly the city statistics alone. The villagers, which accounts more than 75% of India’s population are yet to taste this business flu. In 10 years time, the scene could change in proportion and the scales will stretch few digits in logarithmic units itself.