Mobile phones subscriptions to dwarf world population early 2015

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Jun 03, 2014 18:45 IST

By early 2015, there will be more mobile phone subscribers than the world's population, thanks to rapid growth in India, China and Burma, a report by Swedish technology giant Ericsson said.

The report, released in London on Tuesday, said of the 6.8 billion global mobile subscriptions in the first quarter of 2014, 790 million were in India.

The global figures included the addition of 120 million new subscriptions during the first quarter. India led the global growth with 28 million new subscriptions during this period.

The report projects global mobile subscriptions will hit 7 billion by the end of 2014, and overtake the world's population of 7.2 billion in early 2015.

In 2016, the number of smartphone subscriptions will exceed those for basic phones and by 2019 the number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to reach 5.6 billion, the report says.

Smartphone sales in India surged to 44 million shipments in 2013 from 16.2 million in 2012.

By the end of 2019, mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to account for more than 80% of all mobile subscriptions, compared to around 30% in 2013. Mobile broadband will also gain a larger share of total broadband subscriptions in many markets, complementing fixed broadband, and in certain segments replacing it.

As many as 65% of the phones sold in the first quarter of 2014 were smartphones, compared to about 50% during the same period in 2013.

Global mobile subscriptions have continued to grow 7% year-on-year and 2% quarter-on-quarter and global mobile penetration reached 93% in the first quarter of 2014, the report says.

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