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UN Finds Mobile-Phone Use Nearly Tops World Population

A Russian cadet uses a mobile phone to photograph other cadets in a phone shop in St. Petersburg.
A United Nations report says that by the end of 2013, there will be more mobile-phone subscriptions than there are people in the world if the current growth rate for cell-phone use continues.

The report by the UN’s International Telecommunications Union found there are now 6.8 billion cell-phone subscriptions in the world.

The world’s population is now about 7.1 billion people.

The report says that in 2005 there were about 2.2 billion mobile-phone subscriptions for 6.5 billion people.

The study found that former Soviet Republics in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have the highest number of cellphones per person -- averaging 1.7 subscriptions per person.

But only 46 percent of the subscriptions there are for the active mobile broadband used for smartphones.

Including land-line and mobile Internet connections, the UN survey found that 40 percent of the world’s population is now online.

Based on reporting by BBC and "The Wall Street Journal"