Ericsson has published the latest edition of its Mobility Report, which shows that the total number of mobile subscriptions worldwide is forecast to reach 9.3 billion by 2019. More than 60% of these connections - 5.6 billion of them - are expected to be smartphones.
Network technology is predicted to keep pace with this change. At the moment 80% of all mobile subscriptions are on 2G services - but in 2019, 80% are expected to be on either 3G or 4G. In fact, 90% of the world’s population is expected to be covered by 3G WCDMA or HSPA in 2019 and 65% will be covered by 4G LTE.
Overall, the number of smartphone subscriptions will triple and smartphone traffic will increase 10 times - driven primarily by mobile video - between 2013 and 2019.
Douglas Gilstrap, Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy at Ericsson, said “The rapid pace of smartphone uptake has been phenomenal and is set to continue. It took more than five years to reach the first billion smartphone subscriptions, but it will take less than two to hit the 2 billion mark. Interestingly, this trend will be driven by uptake in China and other emerging markets as lower-priced smartphone models become available.”