Ericsson: 70% Of World Will Own A Smartphone By 2020

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Ericsson Mobility Report finds affordable devices and better coverage will stimulate massive growth in developing nations

Ericsson predicts 70 percent of the world’s population will be using a smartphone by 2020, as mobile broadband coverage and affordable devices become more readily available.

The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report says 4G and 3G networks will cover 90 percent of the global population by the end of the decade and smartphone subscriptions will more than double to reach 6.1 billion.

Two fifths of these will be in developing nations, however North America and Europe will still account for the majority of mobile data traffic as people increase the number of devices they own and heavy users continue to consume videos and rich multimedia content. Indeed, mobile traffic is expected to grow 55 percent each year.

Smartphone ownership

using smartphone mobile phoneEighty percent of all mobile data traffic will come from smartphones, but new application and falling modem costs are driving the growth of all types of connected devices. Ericsson says there will be 26 billion connected systems by the end of 2020.

“This immense growth in advanced mobile technology and data usage, driven by a surge in mobile connectivity and smartphone uptake, will makes today’s big data revolution feel like the arrival of a floppy disk,” said Rima Qureshi, chief strategy officer at the Swedish firm. “We see the potential for mass-scale transformation, bringing a wealth of opportunities for telecom operators and others to capture new revenue streams. But it also requires greater focus on cost efficient delivery and openness to new business models to compete and remain effective.”

Previous Ericsson Mobility Reports, which are based on tests on 100 active networks around the world, have predicted total mobile phone ownership (smartphones and feature phones) will reach 90 percent during the same period. Industry body the GSMA’s research has shown the number of mobile devices across the world has now exceeded the human population.

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