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SIM Penetration Jumps Two Points Following Overall Increase in Subscriptions

The global SIM penetration rate has experienced a recent surge, jumping up two points in the first quarter of 2020. This is largely due to a marked increase in mobile subscriptions reported from around the world.

The report, released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), shows that total mobile subscription saw an increase of 3.4% to reach almost 8 billion subscriptions worldwide by the end of March this year. This prompted the rate of SIM penetration to reach 108.1%, up from 106% in the last quarter of 2019.

The two percent increase in the SIM penetration rate means that there are now 8.2 billion mobile SIMs in use, with the majority found in the Asia-Pacific region. This area provided the largest share of the growth in SIM penetration, accounting for nearly 2 percentage points.

The report notes that the increase in mobile subscriptions can be attributed to multiple factors ranging from a greater demand for cellular services to the continuously evolving technologies in the telecom sector. These advances are enabling more users to access digital services and products.

Furthermore, the report attributes the increase in mobile subscriptions to a growing affordability of mobile devices, enabling more users to purchase SIMs. This can be seen in the growth of mobile device prices, which have fallen by 26% over the last three years.

Finally, the expansion of mobile networks is also contributing to the rise in mobile subscription numbers. In the first quarter of 2020, there was an increase of 11.2% in the total number of mobile networks, signaling more access to cellular services for a larger number of consumers.

With the world’s population continuing to grow, it is likely that the demand for mobile services and the number of mobile subscriptions will increase. As the demand grows, so will the SIM penetration rate. Thus, it is essential that the telecom sector continues to make strides in terms of innovation and affordability in order to meet these growing needs.

Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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