ITU's The World in 2013: ICT Facts and Figures report predicts that there will soon be as many mobile-cellular subscriptions as people inhabiting the planet, with the figure set to nudge past the seven billion mark early in 2014.
More than half of all mobile subscriptions are now in Asia, which remains the powerhouse of market growth, and by the end of 2013 overall mobile penetration rates will have reached 96 percent globally, 128 percent in the developed world, and 89 percent in developing countries.
With many markets saturated, and penetration at over 100 percent in four of the six ITU world regions, mobile-cellular uptake is already slowing substantially, with growth rates falling to their lowest levels ever in both the developed and developing worlds.
ITU estimates that 2.7 billion people or 39 percent of the world's population will be using Internet by end 2013.
Internet access, however, will remain limited in the developing world, with only 31 percent of the population forecast to be online at the end of 2013, compared with 77 percent in the developed world. Europe will remain the world's most connected region with 75 percent Internet penetration, largely outpacing Asia and the Pacific (32 percent) and Africa (16 percent).