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

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2014-02-19 Email Print this article Print

Each quarter, Ericsson releases a Mobility Report, offering what it calls "the pulse" report on the relentless growth of mobile networks and mobile data volumes around the world. The latest report shows that between 2013 and 2019, smartphone subscriptions are expected to triple and smartphone traffic to increase by 10 times. Mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2019, and 60 percent of these—5.6 billion—are expected to be smartphones. "It took more than five years to reach the first billion subscriptions, but it will take less than two to hit the 2 billion mark," Doug Gilstrap, senior vice president and head of Strategy at Ericsson, has said. During the fourth quarter of 2013, Ericsson found that 60 percent of all mobile phones sold were smartphones, and between the fourth quarters of 2012 and 2013, mobile data traffic increased by 70 percent. Below are 10 key takeaways from Ericsson's latest report, which further found that in 2013, Long-Term Evolution (LTE) subscriptions reached 200 million.

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

    by Michelle Maisto
    1 - Ericsson Takes Pulse of Networked Society: 10 Takeaways From Q4 Data
  • 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.
    2 - Global Mobile Broadband Subscriptions
  • 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.)
    3 - LTE Growth
  • 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.)
    4 - The World's Fastest-Growing Technology: 3G
  • 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.
    5 - Mobile Data Traffic
  • Mobility on the Rise

    China and India each account for approximately 20 percent of the world's 6.7 billion mobile subscriptions.
    6 - Mobility on the Rise
  • 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.
    7 - Where the Growth Is
  • 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.)
    8 - Transforming a Continent
  • 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.)
    9 - Smartphones Coming to Dominance
  • 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.)
    10 - The Smartphone Trend
  • 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.
    11 - Subscriptions vs. Subscribers

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