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India leads global growth in mobile subscriptions in the first quarter of 2014: Ericsson

June 03, 2014

According to findings of the latest mobility report published by Ericsson, India led the global growth in mobile subscriptions for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014. For the period under review, India added 28 million users, taking its total subscriber base to 790 million.

Further,  overall, global mobile subscriptions grew by 7 per cent between January 2014 and March 2014 with addition of 120 million new subscribers. The top five countries by net additions, led by India, accounted for more than 50 per cent of new mobile subscriptions in the first quarter of 2014.

Ericsson estimates that the total number of mobile subscriptions will exceed the world’s population in 2015. Moreover, mobile broadband subscriptions will also reach 7.6 billion by the end of 2019, representing more than 80 per cent of the total mobile subscriptions. On the devices front, the telecom equipment vendor expects the number of smartphone subscriptions to exceed those for basic phones over the next two years. As per the findings of the study, about 65 per cent of all phones sold globally in the first quarter of 2014 were smartphones. By 2019, the number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to reach 5.6 billion.  Further, a smartphone user in 2019 is expected to consume almost four times the amount of mobile data per month, contributing to the 10-fold growth in mobile data traffic between 2013 and 2019.

According to the findings of the Ericsson Mobility report, technologies such as 3G and 4G will contribute to the growth of machine-to-Machine (M2M). Even though currently, the majority of cellular M2M devices support GSM technology, going forward by 2016, 3G and 4G will represent the majority of active cellular M2M subscriptions. The number of active cellular M2M devices is expected to increase three to four times by 2019. At the end of 2013, the number of M2M devices stood at 200 million units.

Rima Qureshi, senior vice-president and chief strategy officer, Ericsson, says, “Over time, cellular M2M services and applications related to, for example, intelligent transport systems, will require very short latency in order to be efficient. We also see new device-to-device and M2M applications as a key focus of 5G networks.”


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