How many people do you know that don't own a cell phone? For the majority of us, that number will be very small, if not zero. Not too surprising considering that 5 billion people around the world – or two-thirds of the earth’s population – now have a mobile phone connection.
The data comes from GSMA Intelligence, the research unit of the GSMA trade body that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Its real-time tracker shows that the number of unique mobile subscribers has now passed the 5-million-person milestone, representing year-on-year growth of almost 5 percent.
The site also shows the number of mobile connections around the world. This figure is considerably higher as many people use more than one SIM card, and it includes machine-to-machine connections, of which there are around 400 million.
It’s taken four years for another billion people to acquire a mobile phone connection. Back in 2003, there were just one billion unique mobile subscribers across the globe. GSMA director Mats Granryd called reaching the milestone a “tremendous achievement for an industry that is only a few decades old.”
“Today, mobile is a truly global platform, delivering connectivity and, perhaps more importantly, social and economic opportunities to citizens in all corners of the world,” said Granryd.
Over half of all mobile subscribers, 2.7 billion, are located in the Asia-Pacific Region. When it comes to individual countries’ mobile markets, China sits at the top with 1 billion subscribers, while India is second with 730 million. It is in Europe, however, where phone penetration is at its highest, with 86 percent of citizens subscribed to a mobile service. The US has the second-highest subscriber penetration at 80 percent.
By the end of this decade, GSMA predicts that the number of unique phone subscribers will reach 5.7 billion – around three-quarters of the earth’s population – with India responsible for the largest share of this growth.
If you listen to this now 24 year old talk given in 1992 then listen to the 2nd video in the linked article you will understand the motivation of Green Fire Engineered Reclamation to assist the Children of the Landfill.
“I’m only a child, yet I know that we’re all in this together and should act as one single world towards one single goal.” –12-year-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki speaking at the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Hello, I’m Severn Suzuki speaking for E.C.O. – The Environmental Children’s Organisation. We are a group of twelve and thirteen-year-olds from Canada trying to make a difference: Vanessa Suttie, Morgan Geisler, Michelle Quigg and me. We raised all the money ourselves to come six thousand miles to tell you adults you must change your ways. Coming here today, I have no hidden agenda. I am fighting for my future.
Losing my future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market. I am here to speak for all generations to come. I am here to speak on behalf of the starving children around the world whose cries go unheard. I am here to speak for the countless animals dying across this planet because they have nowhere left to go. We cannot afford to not be heard.
I am afraid to go out in the sun now because of the holes in the ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what chemicals are in it. I used to go fishing in Vancouver with my dad until just a few years ago we found the fish full of cancers. And now we hear about animals and plants going extinct every day – vanishing forever. In my life, I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and rainforests full of birds and butterflies, but now I wonder if they will even exist for my children to see. Did you have to worry about these little things when you were my age? All this is happening before our eyes and yet we act as if we have all the time we want and all the solutions. I’m only a child and I don’t have all the solutions, but I want you to realise, neither do you!
You don’t know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer. You don’t know how to bring salmon back up a dead stream. You don’t know how to bring back an animal now extinct. And you can’t bring back forests that once grew where there is now desert. If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it!
Here, you may be delegates of your governments, business people, organisers, reporters or politicians – but really you are mothers and fathers, brothers and sister, aunts and uncles – and all of you are somebody’s child. I’m only a child yet I know we are all part of a family, five billion strong, in fact, 30 million species strong and we all share the same air, water and soil – borders and governments will never change that. I’m only a child yet I know we are all in this together and should act as one single world towards one single goal. In my anger, I am not blind, and in my fear, I am not afraid of telling the world how I feel.
In my country, we make so much waste, we buy and throw away, buy and throw away, buy and throw away, and yet northern countries will not share with the needy. Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to share, we are afraid to let go of some of our wealth. In Canada, we live the privileged life, with plenty of food, water and shelter – we have watches, bicycles, computers and television sets. The list could go on for two days.
Two days ago here in Brazil, we were shocked when we spent some time with some children living on the streets. And this is what one child told us: “I wish I was rich and if I were, I would give all the street children food, clothes, medicine, shelter and love and affection.” If a child on the street who has nothing, is willing to share, why are we who have everything still so greedy?
I can’t stop thinking that these children are my age, that it makes a tremendous difference where you are born, that I could be one of those children living in the Favelas of Rio; I could be a child starving in Somalia; a victim of war in the Middle East or a beggar in India. I’m only a child yet I know if all the money spent on war was spent on ending poverty and finding environmental answers, what a wonderful place this earth would be!
At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us how to behave in the world. You teach us: not to fight with others, to work things out, to respect others, to clean up our mess, not to hurt other creatures to share – not be greedy. Then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do? Do not forget why you’re attending these conferences, who you’re doing this for – we are your own children. You are deciding what kind of world we are growing up in. Parents should be able to comfort their children by saying “everything’s going to be alright’, “we’re doing the best we can” and “it’s not the end of the world”.
But I don’t think you can say that to us anymore. Are we even on your list of priorities? My father always says “You are what you do, not what you say.” Well, what you do makes me cry at night. You grown ups say you love us. I challenge you, please make your actions reflect your words. Thank you for listening.