Spencer Trask Chairman and Millicom Funder Says Mobile Milestone Must Catalyze Faster Growth for Future

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Real-time digital trackers (World Population, Mobile Connections) recently revealed a major milestone, where the number of active cellphones outpaced the world population.

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“There’s only one point in time when we’re going to have this crossover between the number of mobile devices and the number of human beings," said Kevin Kimberlin, chairman of Spencer Trask & Co., who helped launch cellular pioneer Millicom, Inc.

Real-time digital trackers (US Census World Population and Mobile Connections fo GMSA Intelligence) recently revealed a major milestone, where the number of active cellphones outpaced the world population. That means in that moment, there was an active mobile device for every one of the 7.2 billion people on Earth.

But that number does not account for more than half the people in the world still without access to mobile, the gateway to health, political power and economic growth.

“There’s only one point in time when we’re going to have this crossover between the number of mobile devices and the number of human beings,” said Kevin Kimberlin, chairman of Spencer Trask & Co., who helped create the funding to launch cellular pioneer Millicom, Inc., the only startup selected by the FCC to demonstrate the viability of cellular. “So to me, it’s a clarion call, it’s a punctuation point, it’s a reason to celebrate and recognize how far we’ve come in the last 30 years, and also how far we need to go.”

Kimberlin, in a recent interview recounting Millicom’s founding, made one crucial point: It will take entrepreneurs like those at the start of the mobile age to finish the job.

“In 1981 and’ 82, there was no money around. (Kimberlin) was trying to raise money for this scheme to get into cellular,” said former Millicom director Leonard Gubar. “To me, (the mobile phone) was miraculous. Now today, you can do everything with a mobile phone.”

Millicom has joined Facebook’s Internet.org in accelerating mobile access to the billions still not connected. To read more, visit http://www.spencertraskco.com/news.

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Kerry Safir
Spencer Trask
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