No technology has spread as rapidly – to become utterly ubiquitous – as the cell phone. It took television 30 years to penetrate 70% of households, but the cell phone achieved this level in less than a decade. On top of this, very soon there will be more mobile devices deployed on our planet than human beings.

So says Derick Roberts, CEO of wireless communications specialist, TruTeq Devices.
He maintains that cell phone penetration has surpassed 80% in the USA and has, astoundingly, reached 100% in markets that include Israel and Scandinavia.

“But, despite this, there is still room for growth, because cell phone penetration hasn’t made the 40% mark in Latin America, with India seeing only a 15% uptake – with some African countries barely achieving 10%.”

A recent forecast by the networking giant Cisco reveals that smartphones and tablets will grow to more than 7bn – the world’s current population – with huge growth in usage in Asia, the Pacific and Africa.

But the rapid growth in connected devices will put the existing Internet infrastructure under increasing strain, “and force Internet providers to shift customers and networks over to the next-generation “IPv6” system – which expands the number of devices that can connect directly to the Internet from around 4,3-billion (using the existing IPv4 system) to a gigantic figure large enough to give every single person their own private IPv4-based Internet”.

Commenting further, Roberts says the latest research also points to another rapidly-growing category: Internet-connected monitors for “smart metering”, video surveillance, maintenance, building automation, healthcare and consumer electronics – a range of devices known as “machine-to-machine” (M2M) systems which communicate directly to other computers over the Internet without the intervention of humans.

The Cisco report also highlights the dramatic change that is already happening in the field of mobile connectivity: mobile video already makes up more than half of the data transmitted worldwide, the company says – and by 2017 it will make up two-thirds of it.

“Sales of mobile devices are expected to make up more than 50% of global IT spend during 2013,” says Roberts.”This clearly shows us where the market is going, and how future person-to-person and company-to-company communications will be conducted.”