What country can lay claim to having the most cell phones per capita? United Arab Emirates reported more than two for each citizen. A close second is tiny Montenegro. Surprised? The countries with the most phones per person tend to be small, with lots of borders or numerous foreign workers and visitors, says Susan Teltscher, an analyst with International Telecommunication Union. (That's because visitors tend to buy local phones to use during their stay.)

With UAE as a benchmark, phone companies in the U.S. and China would appear to have room to grow. Mobile-phone penetration stands at 91 percent in the U.S. and a mere 56 percent in Mainland China, according to statistics* from the ITU. Take a look at the countries that boast the highest penetration of cell-phone use.

*The most recent statistics available, from the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database, are from 2009. The numbers of total cell-phone subscriptions are from carriers in each country and include only subscriptions that were active within three months of the end of 2009. Numbers in the slide show have been rounded.
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What country can lay claim to having the most cell phones per capita? United Arab Emirates reported more than two for each citizen. A close second is tiny Montenegro. Surprised? The countries with the most phones per person tend to be small, with lots of borders or numerous foreign workers and visitors, says Susan Teltscher, an analyst with International Telecommunication Union. (That's because visitors tend to buy local phones to use during their stay.)

With UAE as a benchmark, phone companies in the U.S. and China would appear to have room to grow. Mobile-phone penetration stands at 91 percent in the U.S. and a mere 56 percent in Mainland China, according to statistics* from the ITU. Take a look at the countries that boast the highest penetration of cell-phone use.

*The most recent statistics available, from the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database, are from 2009. The numbers of total cell-phone subscriptions are from carriers in each country and include only subscriptions that were active within three months of the end of 2009. Numbers in the slide show have been rounded.
Getty Images

The 20 Countries With the Highest Per Capita Cell-Phone Use

Dense Penetration in Tiny Countries
Dense Penetration in Tiny Countries
What country can lay claim to having the most cell phones per capita? United Arab Emirates reported more than two for each citizen. A close second is tiny Montenegro. Surprised? The countries with the most phones per person tend to be small, with lots of borders or numerous foreign workers and visitors, says Susan Teltscher, an analyst with International Telecommunication Union. (That's because visitors tend to buy local phones to use during their stay.)

With UAE as a benchmark, phone companies in the U.S. and China would appear to have room to grow. Mobile-phone penetration stands at 91 percent in the U.S. and a mere 56 percent in Mainland China, according to statistics* from the ITU. Take a look at the countries that boast the highest penetration of cell-phone use.

*The most recent statistics available, from the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database, are from 2009. The numbers of total cell-phone subscriptions are from carriers in each country and include only subscriptions that were active within three months of the end of 2009. Numbers in the slide show have been rounded.
Getty Images
No. 1: United Arab Emirates
No. 1: United Arab Emirates
Mobile-phone penetration: 233 percent
Population: 4.6 million
Subscriptions: 10.7 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 24 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 6.8:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 75
Digital Vision
No. 2: Montenegro
No. 2: Montenegro
Mobile-phone penetration: 210 percent
Population: 620,000
Subscriptions: 1.3 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 22 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 7.5:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 45
ROBERT ATANASOVSKI AFP/Getty
No. 3: Macau, China*
No. 3: Macau, China*
Mobile-phone penetration: 185 percent
Population: 540,000
Subscriptions: 1 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 19 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 6.1:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 50

*Macau is broken out as a separate entity in the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database. Macau is part of the People's Republic of China.
ALEX HOFFORD AFP/Getty.jpg
No. 4: Cayman Islands
No. 4: Cayman Islands
Mobile-phone penetration: 181 percent
Population: 60,000
Subscriptions: 108,700
Annual growth 2004-2009: 26 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 3:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: NA
Steve Mason
No. 5: Hong Kong*
No. 5: Hong Kong*
Mobile-phone penetration: 180 percent
Population: 7 million
Subscriptions: 12.6 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 9 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 2.9:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 69

*Hong Kong is broken out as a separate entity in the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database. Hong Kong is part of the People's Republic of China.
Mike Clarke AFP/Getty
No. 6: Anguilla
No. 6: Anguilla
Mobile-phone penetration: 180 percent
Population: 15,000
Subscriptions: 27,000
Annual growth 2004-2009: 30 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 4.3:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 2407_anguilla_JackHollingsworth.jpg
Jack Hollingsworth
No. 7: Qatar
No. 7: Qatar
Mobile-phone penetration: 179 percent
Population: 1.4 million
Subscriptions: 2.5 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 38 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 8.7:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 40
Rabih Mograhabi AFP/Getty
No.8: Bahrain
No.8: Bahrain
Mobile-phone penetration: 177 percent
Population: 790,000
Subscriptions: 1.4 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 17 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 5.9:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 53
Adam
No. 9: Saudi Arabia
No. 9: Saudi Arabia
Mobile-phone penetration: 175 percent
Population: 25.7 million
Subscriptions: 44.9 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 37 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 10.8:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 38
No. 10: St. Kitts and Nevis
No. 10: St. Kitts and Nevis
Mobile-phone penetration: 166 percent
Population: 50,000
Subscriptions: 83,000
Annual growth 2004-2009: 23 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 4:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 17
No. 11: Russia
No. 11: Russia
Mobile-phone penetration: 163 percent
Population: 141 million
Subscriptions: 230.5 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 26 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 5.1:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 29
No. 12: Panama
No. 12: Panama
Mobile-phone penetration: 163 percent
Population: 3.5 million
Subscriptions: 5.7 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 35 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 10.6:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 28
No. 13: Lithuania
No. 13: Lithuania
Mobile-phone penetration: 152 percent
Population: 3.3 million
Subscriptions: 5 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 10 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 6.6:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 60
No. 14: Dominica
No. 14: Dominica
Mobile-phone penetration: 151 percent
Population: 70,000
Subscriptions: 106,000
Annual growth 2004-2009: 20 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 6.1:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 42
No. 15: Antigua and Barbuda
No. 15: Antigua and Barbuda
Mobile-phone penetration: 150 percent
Population: 90,000
Subscriptions: 134,900
Annual growth 2004-2009: 20 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 3.6:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 74
No. 16: Portugal
No. 16: Portugal
Mobile-phone penetration: 149 percent
Population: 10.7 million
Subscriptions: 15.9 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 9 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 3.7:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 48
No. 17: Libya
No. 17: Libya
Mobile-phone penetration: 148 percent
Population: 6.4 million
Subscriptions: 9.5 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 80 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 9:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 6
No. 18: Maldives
No. 18: Maldives
Mobile-phone penetration: 147 percent
Population: 310,000
Subscriptions: 457,800
Annual growth 2004-2009: 32 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 9.3:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 28
No. 19: Luxembourg
No. 19: Luxembourg
Mobile-phone penetration: 147 percent
Population: 490,000
Subscriptions: 720,000
Annual growth 2004-2009: 9 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 2.7:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 87
No. 20: Italy
No. 20: Italy
Mobile-phone penetration: 147 percent
Population: 60 million
Subscriptions: 88 million
Annual growth 2004-2009: 7 percent
Ratio of mobile to fixed line: 4.1:1
Estimated Internet users per 100 people: 49