The world is already very close to reaching 100% penetration in mobile connection, according to Ericsson’s sixth Mobility Report. It says there were 6.8 billion mobile lines globally in Q1 2014, or 9.3 mobile lines for every 10 people, and it is growing fast mainly thanks to the boom in sales in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. By the end of this year or in early 2015, the number of mobile lines is expected to surpass world’s population.
The Report says that new mobile subscriptions was around 5 million in Europe and North America in Q1 whereas Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East contributed more than 96 million in the same period. The boom in mobile subscriptions in said regions is partly driven by the availability of smartphones that cost less than 100 dollars per piece.
It’s predicted in the report that the total global cellular connections will increase to 9.2 billion in 2019.
Rima Qureshi, the Chief Strategy Officer at Ericsson, said that the increasing penetration of smartphones in developing and emerging markets will push the current 65% share in all mobile phones to over 80% by 2019.
Additional subscriptions in already saturated markets will mostly come from second or third line ownership, according to the Report. By the first quarter of this year, the regions that have less than 100% of mobile connection penetration include China, Africa and India. Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America have already exceeded the 100 percent penetration mark.
The sixth Mobility Report has included for the first time Ericsson’s predictions on machine-to-machine connection (or Internet of Things, if you like). Even more striking than the growth in smartphones, the company predicts that active cellular connections between smart devices, which is estimated to be around 200 million in Q1, will jump 3 to 4 times in next 5 years.
For the whole report, please click here.