Reuters reports that worldwide mobile phone use will exceed the three billion mark in 2007.

This figure is equivalent to half the world's population.

The figures are from a report following a survey by UK-based telecoms analysis company The Mobile World.

The high penetration figure is partly thanks to the increase in demand for mobile phones in developing markets like China, India and Africa.

Every minute, around the world over 1000 new customers are signing up for mobile phones the survey showed.

Mobile phone penetration in Europe is said to have reached 100% of the population, with 666 million mobile connections.

65% of all handsets made this year will be sold in emerging markets as manufacturers make low cost phones especially catering to these markets.