I disagree. I think the number is correct for this reason.
I used to have an Indonesian fiancee. She and everyone else I knew there used to have two phones. A Blackberry and an Android/iPhone. She even made me buy a Blackberry so that she could BBM me all the time. Even the kids had mobile phones from about 10 years old onwards. So, we have a nation of 120 million people where those who have mobile phones usually have two of them. (Insert the old joke that if it wasn't for Indonesia RIM wouldn't be in existence). 99.68 mobile phones per 100 Indonesians. (Link at bottom)
When I was in Cambodia building houses in remote villages, the majority of people had mobile phones. (You could get an iPhone for half the price that it sells in the first world, and an iPhone rip-off for one third - and most other phones being very cheap by first world standards). In third world countries phone calls and texting is very cheap. (My ex-fiancee almost had a heart attack when she found out how much we get charged for phone calls in Australia). Most of the Cambodians I met didn't have TV's, Radios, land line phones or electricity, but they all had mobile phones (lacking electricity they could take their mobile phones to the local store for recharging. Many a bamboo hut store in the local villages had a generator and sold all sorts of mobile plans and batteries etc). Mobile phones are a cheap way to stay in contact with each other, especially when some of the family have moved to Phnom Penh for work, and others are on the Thai boarder working and the rest are still back in the home village. Plus, it also gives them internet access at a very cheap rate (and I used to have a number of Cambodian friends I kept in contact with who used their mobiles for Facebook or emails etc). But, another reason for mobiles being popular, is you don't need to be literate to be able to use one (with the average Cambodian education level being 3rd year primary). Cambodia have 92 mobile connections per 100 people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...
Then, there are some Malaysian youths I meet in Malaysia who, for some reason, had one mobile phone but half a dozen sim cards (so 6+ subscriptions each). I didn't fully understand the reason for this, but part of it was coverage (when they couldn't always get a signal for one provider they'd switch to the sim card of another provider), they also had different phone numbers for different groups of friends/relatives etc (which is the bit I never quite understood). There were different rates on internet/talking/sms usage, so they'd switch SIM cards depending on whether they were going to Tweet something or talk to someone. I also suspect there was some 'social' aspect to it, 'he who has the most SIM cards wins'.
Then, there are all those people with a personal mobile phones and a work mobile phones.
So, to summarise: knowing that a considerable amount of people in the third world have mobile subsciptions, and that a majority of first world people have mobile subscriptions, and a large sum of people in the world have two or more mobile subscriptions, it isn't difficult to work out that it is entirely possible for us to have almost as many mobile subscriptions as there're people on earth. I would say, that if mobile adoptions keeps increasing in third world countries and more people (in general) end up having more than one mobile subscription, we'd probably end up having mobile subscriptions exceed the amount of people on earth.
Bees the size of rats, suck on rats the size of cats
Beware the savage door, Of 1984
When I was still at school I did work experience at a South Australian Government office which still used punch cards. It was very similar to what was described above. The programmers wrote the programs out on paper (coding sheets), and then sent them along to the girls (there were no guys) in the typing pool to create the punch cards to be feed into the machine. (They also did the typing for a lot of other things. A request to create punch cards was something the typing pool only got once or twice a day. I think only one or two of the girls usually did it out of about fifty of them).
Think the procedure went:
*Guy (there were no girls) wrote the program,
*Sent it to the typing pool on the same day.
*Next day they received their punch cards back.
*Feed them into the machine to have it compile etc and see if it works.
From what they told me they seldom had any problems.
When my friends and I visited a University (whilst at school) for some sort of experience day thing, they were still using punch cards. By the time I got to Uni they'd just installed a new machine (an Amdahl) which you could use terminals for, so punch cards were only just phased out. By the time I got to working full-time in IT (I had a detour into a professional music career for a while), punch cards were long gone, but some of the older PA's etc would recall the old Hollerith machines they used to create the punch cards.