In 2002, mobile subscribers worldwide have outnumbered fixed-line
subscribers. The dimensions in which this cross-over gain
significance are access to basic telecommunications services as well
as information and communication technologies (ICTs) as a tool for
economic and social development.
The phenomenon of the mobile cross-over has taken place across geographic
criteria such as countries, regions, and contents, across
socio-demographic criteria such as gender, income, or age, and
across economic criteria such as price premium for mobile (micro) or
GDP per capita (macro).
Mobile communications has increased access to telecommunications services
particularly in developing countries. The cellular network can be
built faster than a fixed-line network, it can cover geographically
challenging areas, services have been introduced in a competitive
environment, and pre-paid models have opened access to mobile
cellular for those who would otherwise not qualify for subscription
In countries, where mobile communications is the primary access to
communications, increased exchange of information on trade or health
services are contributing to development goals; in countries where
people commonly use both fixed-line and mobile communications the
personal traits of the cell phone are changing social interaction.
all of these positive outlooks, is there a need for policy changes
or re-constructions of regulatory frameworks? Now that growth rates
are slowing down on a global scale, is there potential for market
failures, wrong incentives for building infrastructure, a lack of
competitive forces? Can the mobile communications industry continue
its prosperous development into the future?
This website has been
designed in order to provide background resources on some of these
Pricing and billing
in mobile markets
Licensing and spectrum policy
Mobile data communications
protection and privacy
A background paper to serve as an introduction to the
topic is available for download: "Mobile
Overtakes Fixed: Implications for Policy and Regulation ",
ITU, June 2003.