Nokia sets its sights on one billion new mobile users

Because the one billion out there already just isn’t enough, apparently…
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Because the one billion out there already just isn’t enough, apparently…

Mobile giant Nokia isn't happy with just 1.2 billion people worldwide owning a mobile – it wants to see a billion more across the globe joining the mobile communications revolution. The company are planning to make using a mobile more affordable in order to encourage a global mobile market of two billion users by 2008. Nokia believes the areas that will see the most growth in the years to come are India, Latin America and Russia – and it's the latter that may hit the ground running, with a predicted 60 million users and 200 per cent growth in five years time. However, given the Finnish telco's third quarter profits are expected to drop combined with a European mobile market reaching saturation, getting more subscribers on board will be critical for Nokia's future. Speaking at a press conference in Moscow, Nokia's CEO, Jorma Ollila, said: "New growth markets will be a key driver of the mobile industry in the coming years. There is extraordinary potential in the number of people currently without mobile service. Despite its remarkable success, mobile service still only reaches less than 20 per cent of the world's population. Some four billion people are still without telephone service of any kind." Ollila said he expected that for many users in developing countries, a mobile would be their first and only phone, and within a few years there would be a large number of mobile users who had never even seen a landline. In order to drive take-up of mobiles in countries where average revenue per user (ARPU) is likely to be at the lower end of the scale, Nokia believes that the answer for mobile operators lies in shelling out less on hooking the subscriber in the first place, using measures such as cutting the cost of handsets and focusing on key voice only services.
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