Global mobile penetration hits 85%

Ericsson interim Traffic and Market Data Report shows growing mobile subscriptions

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Global mobile penetration hits 85% An interim update to the Traffic and Market Data Report published in November 2011 by Ericsson, shows that global mobile penetration is now at 85%.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  February 26, 2012

Global mobile penetration reached 85% in Q4 2011, and mobile subscriptions now total around six billion, according to an interim update to the Traffic and Market Data Report published in November 2011 by Ericsson.

The report showed that the six billion mobile subscriptions equated to around 4.1 billion subscribers, since many subscribers have more than one mobile line. Nearly 60% of people alive today now have at least one mobile subscription.

India and China accounted for approximately 35% of the estimated 180 million new subscriptions added in Q4 2011. Brazil, Indonesia and Bangladesh followed in terms of new subscriptions.

According to the interim update, mobile subscriptions increased by around 13% year-on-year and 3% quarter-on-quarter. Around 75% of total subscriptions are GSM, while 15% are WCDMA/HSPA.

Mobile broadband subscriptions have increased by around 60% year-on-year and now the number is close to 1 billion. Smartphones continue to gain momentum with approximately 30% of all handsets sold in 2011 being smartphones, compared to around 20% in 2010.

Smartphones however account for only around 10% of the worldwide installed base of subscriptions, which suggest there is still considerable room for further uptake.

According to the report by Ericsson, mobile data traffic doubled between the third quarters of 2010 and 2011, matching the annual growth rate recorded between the second quarters of 2010 and 2011. Quarterly growth between the second and third quarters of last year was 18%.

Mobile voice traffic is continuing to increase at a steady pace having doubled over the past four years, this is especially true in regions where there has been a considerable increase in subscriptions, such as in the developing nations in Asia.

Ericsson estimates that the global average for traffic generated by mobile PC users is now around 2GB per month.

Ericsson will release its full Traffic and Market Data Report in the second half of Q2 2012.

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