Mobile deals near population total

The world now has nearly as many mobile phone subscriptions as inhabitants.

The UN telecom agency said there were about six billion subscriptions by the end of 2011 - roughly one for 86 of every 100 people.

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

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

ITU says 70% of people who use the internet live in wealthier, industrialised countries, compared with 24% who live in poorer, developing nations.