Mobile subscriptions hit 5 billion, 70% of global population

The number of mobile phone service subscriptions is continuing to grow at a rate of 2 million every day, and has just eclipsed a mind-blowing 5 billion.

Those numbers are according to industry estimates discussed in a press release sent out today by Ericsson.

The company also notes that there are now more than 500 million active 3G data subscriptions. The area where growth is significantly climbing is in emerging markets like China and India.

10 years ago, only 720 million people in the world had mobile phone service. Today, there are more than that in China alone.

Ericsson says we are far from hitting a plateau, and expects the number of mobile broadband subscriptions to reach 3.4 billion by 2015, and total number of connected mobile devices around the world to climb to 50 billion by 2020.

In markets where there is already a substantial penetration of mobile connections, the number of connected devices per person is also expected to grow, with gadgets like the iPad and e-readers now coming equipped with mobile service.