This should sort out the quality journalists from the credulous and sloppy....
The WirelessIntelligence group (a venture between the GSMA and my industry analyst peers at Ovum) have found announced we've hit the Cellular 2.5 Billion mark.
Nice to see they're using "connections" rather than "users" or "subscribers". It will be interesting to see which publications & commentators leap to the false assumption that all these terms are synonyms.
I'd love to see an uptodate figure of "unique active cellular device users", which excludes second/third SIMs, inactive users, SIMs in non-phone devices like gateway boxes etc.
I'd take a guess at around 1.7-1.9bn, depending on your definition of "active", and maybe how you treat phones which are shared amongst groups.