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Worldwide mobile penetration reaches 100% for the first time - Ericsson

Numbers released by Ericsson claim the number of worldwide mobile subscriptions has surpassed global population for the first time.

Tim Skinner

February 17, 2016

2 Min Read
Worldwide mobile penetration reaches 100% for the first time - Ericsson

Numbers released by Ericsson claim the number of worldwide mobile subscriptions has surpassed global population for the first time.

The pre-Mobile World Congress special edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report unveiled current mobile network usage statistics while forecasting likely numbers five years from now. Q4 2015, the sampled period of the report, would appear to be a significant one for the mobile industry with a couple of milestones passed, according to Ericsson.

Firstly, the report claims 68 million global mobile subscriptions were added in the quarter, with India leading the way in terms of growth with 21 million new subscribers. China, the US and Myanmar followed with 6m additions for the former and 5m for the latter two respectively. Meanwhile, the number of LTE subscriptions worldwide topped a billion for the first time, with 160 million additions in Q4. The report also claimed mobile penetration has now reached 100% for the first time, with 7.3 billion mobile subscribers worldwide.

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Back in November Telecoms.com reported the forecasted toppling of a billion LTE subscribers, and how Ericsson forecasted 150million 5G subscriptions by 2021. Ericsson has maintained that forecast in this edition of the report, despite recent announcements from global operators about over intentions for trials and roadmaps coming in 2016, like AT&T.

Other areas of the report measured consumer response to poor mobile service by sticking wireless electroencephalography (EEG), pulse meters and eye-tracking equipment onto the head of subjects and taking a variety of stress readings. Ericsson reckons that a poor mobile video streaming experience is as harrowing as watching a horror movie, trying to solve a maths problem or standing at the edge of a “virtual” cliff, whatever that may be.

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With MWC lurking just around the corner, Ericsson’s got another load of announcements out of the way before the creeping behemoth of the telecoms industry rolls into town for another week. Other stuff the vendor’s been up to includes a contract win with Idea Cellular in India for 4G infrastructure rollout to serve 40 million customers; and another MoU, this time with Telefónica, to work on even more 5G things like virtualization and radio cleverness at the operator’s 5TONIC lab in Spain. It’s also confirmed some of the showcases we can expect at MWC next week, with IoT, cloud innovation and, of course, 5G.

About the Author(s)

Tim Skinner

Tim is the features editor at Telecoms.com, focusing on the latest activity within the telecoms and technology industries – delivering dry and irreverent yet informative news and analysis features.

Tim is also host of weekly podcast A Week In Wireless, where the editorial team from Telecoms.com and their industry mates get together every now and then and have a giggle about what’s going on in the industry.

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