90 Percent Of The World Will Have A Mobile Phone By 2020, Ericsson Predicts

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Ericsson Mobility Report finds no hiding place for technophobes, with 2.7bn mobile phones currently active

The number of mobile phones is getting ever closer to outnumbering human beings as technology becomes an increasingly important part of our lives, new research has found.

The latest Ericsson Mobility Report has found that there are 2.7 billion mobile phones on Earth, with 800 million being activated so far in 2014 a number. This is set to rise to 6.1 billion by 2020, meaning that 90 percent of people over the age of six will be equipped with some kind of mobile device in just a matter of years.

This growth is being spurred on by high take-up in developing markets, particularly India and China which contributed 18 million and 12 million new mobile subscriptions respectively in just the last three months.

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These new subscriptions are increasingly smart devices, too, with the report finding that 65-70 percent of all phones sold in the third quarter of 2014 were smartphones, compared with 55 percent in the same quarter for 2013.

However, smartphones still currently only account for 37 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions, meaning there is still huge untapped potential for manufacturers in the market.

This explosion of devices is also set to boost the amount of data consumed across the world, particularly mobile video, which Ericsson predicts will increase tenfold and constitute 55 percent of all mobile data traffic by 2020.

“The falling cost of handsets, coupled with improved usability and increasing network coverage, are factors that are making mobile technology a global phenomenon that will soon be available to the vast majority of the world’s population, regardless of age or location,” said Rima Qureshi, senior vice president, chief strategy officer and head of M&A at Ericsson.

Ericsson’s findings fit nicely with many other predictions of how the mobile market is booming. Figures released by mobile body the GSMA last month revealed that the number of mobile devices across the world has now surpassed the human population to hit 7.2 billion, serving the 3.6 billion unique mobile subscribers currently active across the world.

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