Dense Penetration in Tiny Countries
What country can lay claim to having the most cell phones per capita? United Arab Emirates reported more than two for each citizen. A close second is tiny Montenegro. Surprised? The countries with the most phones per person tend to be small, with lots of borders or numerous foreign workers and visitors, says Susan Teltscher, an analyst with International Telecommunication Union. (That's because visitors tend to buy local phones to use during their stay.)
With UAE as a benchmark, phone companies in the U.S. and China would appear to have room to grow. Mobile-phone penetration stands at 91 percent in the U.S. and a mere 56 percent in Mainland China, according to statistics* from the ITU. Take a look at the countries that boast the highest penetration of cell-phone use.
*The most recent statistics available, from the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database, are from 2009. The numbers of total cell-phone subscriptions are from carriers in each country and include only subscriptions that were active within three months of the end of 2009. Numbers in the slide show have been rounded.