Mobile Broadband Subscriptions To Double in Five Years


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Mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to double by 2022 to 8.3 billion globally; as of Q1 2017 there are 4.6 billion. Cheaper smartphones and better networks are all part of the explosion, according to the 2017 Ericsson Mobility Report.

Mobile broadband subscriptions increased by 25 percent year over year, according to the report. Broadband subscriptions made up 60 percent of all mobile connections this quarter, up from 57 percent at the end of 2016. Total mobile subscriptions reached 7.6 billion, up four percent from last year.

The growth in smartphone mobile subscriptions has to do with access to cheaper smartphones and better wireless networks. Smartphones accounted for 80 percent of all mobile phones sold this quarter. Currently, 80 percent of the world’s population could potentially connect to a mobile broadband network; Ericsson anticipates a 95 percent coverage rate in 2022. Smartphone subscriptions surpassed those for basic phones globally for the first time last year, and 55 percent of mobile subscriptions are now for smartphones. 

Mobile subscriptions by technology and region:









Mobile broadband subscriptions (5G, LTE and WCDMA/HSPA) make up between 50 and 85 percent of all mobile subscriptions in every region except the Middle East.

The Middle East and Africa have the lowest rates of mobile broadband subscriptions. Those regions are also expected to see the biggest growth between now and 2022, thanks to a growing young population and more affordable smartphones.

June 20, 2017     

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