Ericsson Takes Pulse of Networked Society: 10 Takeaways From Q4 Data

1 - Ericsson Takes Pulse of Networked Society: 10 Takeaways From Q4 Data
2 - Global Mobile Broadband Subscriptions
3 - LTE Growth
4 - The World's Fastest-Growing Technology: 3G
5 - Mobile Data Traffic
6 - Mobility on the Rise
7 - Where the Growth Is
8 - Transforming a Continent
9 - Smartphones Coming to Dominance
10 - The Smartphone Trend
11 - Subscriptions vs. Subscribers
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Ericsson Takes Pulse of Networked Society: 10 Takeaways From Q4 Data

by Michelle Maisto

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Global Mobile Broadband Subscriptions

By 2019, the world's mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to increase from today's 2 billion to 8 billion and the amount of data sent by each smartphone is expected to triple. That means that in 2019, over a span of two weeks, smartphones will send 5 exabytes of information—an amount of data often characterized as equivalent to all the words ever spoken since the beginning of mankind.

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LTE Growth

During the fourth quarter of 2013, LTE gained approximately 40 million new subscribers, for a new total of 200 million. (In this image, courtesy of Ericsson, CEO Hans Vestberg speaks at the AT&T Developers Summit at Consumer Electronics Show 2014.)

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The World's Fastest-Growing Technology: 3G

While it took eight years for 3G subscriptions to reach 1 billion, the next 1 billion 3G subscribers will come online in just two years' time. (This photo is from Ericsson's Extreme Project, which upgraded Hong Kong's networks from 2G to 4G.)

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Mobile Data Traffic

While voice traffic has been flat for years, mobile data traffic continues its steep ascent. Between the fourth quarters of 2012 and 2013, it increased by 70 percent.

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Mobility on the Rise

China and India each account for approximately 20 percent of the world's 6.7 billion mobile subscriptions.

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Where the Growth Is

China and India also contributed most aggressively to the growth during the fourth quarter. India added more than 22 million subscriptions, while China added 21 million-plus. In North America, by contrast, subscriptions increased by 5 million during the quarter.

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Transforming a Continent

In Africa today, 80 percent of subscriptions are 2G—so really just using their phones for texts and phone messages. By 2019, Ericsson expects 80 percent of subscriptions to be 3G or 4G, "enabling mobile broadband and Internet use for the vast population of Africa." (This photo is from Ericsson's Connect to Learn initiative in Ghana.)

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Smartphones Coming to Dominance

During the fourth quarter, nearly 60 percent of all devices sold were smartphones, up from 45 percent during the same quarter a year ago. Still, of all mobile subscriptions, 30 percent are thought to be smartphones, leaving plenty of room for continued growth. (This image shows Ericsson networks helping to connect health care workers in Rwanda with life-saving information.)

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The Smartphone Trend

In 2013, the amount of data from smartphones began surpassing traffic from all other types of connected devices, including routers, tablets and PCs. (This photo is from Ericsson's CES 2014 exhibit, which showed various connected devices for the home.)

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Subscriptions vs. Subscribers

While there are now 6.7 billion mobile subscriptions, the number of mobile subscribers (many with more than one device) is closer to 4.5 billion. Ericsson estimates that the world's mobile global penetration is 92 percent, while—for the reason mentioned—regions like Western Europe (127 percent) and Latin America (115 percent) well exceed 100 percent.

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