EU mobile phone subscriptions now outnumber population

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For the first time, mobile phone subscriptions in the European Union outnumbered its population, according to a European Commission report issued yesterday.

“With 478.4 million mobile phones in use, penetration in Europe is now at 103 percent of population,” the Commission said in its 12th annual report on the EU’s telecom markets.

That’s up from 95% in 2005.

Luxembourg records the highest penetration, at 171%, followed by Italy (134%), and Lithuania (133%). France had just 82%.

The report also focused on broadband take-up, showing that the Netherlands and Denmark, with 29.8% and 29.4% of their populations signed up, now have the world’s highest broadband penetration. Seven member states have higher broadband penetration than the US.

Andy Merrett