More than a billion mobile phone connections have been added to the global tally in just 18 months, according to Wireless Intelligence. There are now more than five billion connections worldwide. In many regions, penetration exceeds 100 percent, where there is more than one connection per person in the country. Ben Wood, mobile phone analyst at CCS Insight said the mobile phone may be “the most prolific consumer device on the planet”. “If you just take the UK in 1987, when the first mobile companies launched, an industry insider predicted a maximum of 10,000 phones. “Now almost every adult, child and domestic pet seems to have one, given that 30 million phones are sold every year in the UK,” he said. The four billion connections mark was surpassed at the end of 2008, and analysts at Wireless Intelligence predict six billion connections worldwide by the middle of 2012. The Asia-Pacific region including India and China is the main source of growth, accounting for 47 percent of of global mobile connections at the end of June 2010, according to the firm. In western Europe, mobile phone penetration has reached 130 percent, which Mr Wood attributed in part to mobile phone operators including in their statistics connections that have been dormant for many months. In rapidly developing eastern Europe, overall penetration is not far behind western Europe, at 123 percent, according to Wireless Intelligence.