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Mobile phones “will outnumber world’s population by next year”

Europe will lag in LTE subscriptions in five years despite near total coverage.

By Vinod

The number of mobile subscriptions worldwide will outstrip global population by 2015.

And by the end of 2019 the world will have 9.2 billion mobile subscriptions..

With 7 percent year-over-year there were 120 million net additions in the first quarter of 2014 alone.

The number of active cellular Machine to Machine (M2M) devices worldwide will increase 3-4 times by 2019, from 200 million at the end of 2013.

While the majority of cellular M2M devices today are still GSM-only, that is expected to shift by 2016 when 3G/4G will represent the majority of active cellular M2M subscriptions.

"By 2019 we estimate that more than 20 percent of the active cellular M2M devices will be connected to LTE subscriptions," said Rima Qureshi, Ericsson’s Chief Strategy Officer, which produced a report.

"We also see new device-to-device and M2M applications as a key focus of 5G networks."

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LTE population coverage in Europe will be around 80% by 2019 but the continent will only see LTE subscription penetration of 30%, compared to 85% in North America the same year.

The number of global mobile broadband subscriptions will continue to grow, reaching 7.6 billion by the end of 2019, representing more than 80% of total mobile subscriptions.

This will lead to a ten-fold increase in mobile data traffic across the world between 2013 and 2019. A smartphone user in 2019 is expected to consume almost four times the amount of mobile data per month compared to today.

"The growth and the evolution in M2M and the 10-fold growth in mobile data traffic strengthen the emphasis on network performance, handling complexity and maximizing the user experience," added Qureshi.

"This in turn puts even higher requirements across the networks and the operations and business support systems of the future."


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