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UN says world has 6 billion cell phone subscribers

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 7:18 a.m.
 

GENEVA — The world now has nearly as many cell phone subscriptions as inhabitants.

The U.N. telecom agency says there were about 6 billion subscriptions by the end of 2011 — roughly one for 86 of every 100 people.

In a report Thursday, the International Telecommunication Union said China alone accounted for 1 billion subscriptions, and India is expected to hit the 1 billion mark this year.

The Geneva-based agency says 2.3 billion people — or about one in three of the world's 7 billion inhabitants — were Internet users by the end of 2011, but there's a strong disparity between rich and developing countries.

ITU says 70 percent of people who use the Internet live in wealthier, industrialized countries, compared with 24 percent who live in poorer, developing nations.

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