Worldwide Smartphone Penetration to reach 70% by 2020

June 10, 2015
3 min read

The Ericsson Mobility Report for June, 2015 shows that mobile subscriptions in Q1 2015 was about 910 million in Africa, including 21 million new mobile subscriptions. By the year 2020, it has been envisaged that mobile subscriptions via smart phones will double the present subscriptions to about 6.1 billion; the world’s population using smart phones would also increase to 70% and about 90% will have the mobile broadband network coverage.

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The Ericsson Mobility report also gives an update on mobile trends showing that the growth in mature market results from an increase in the number of devices per person. However, the growth in developing regions stems from new subscribers, owing to the fact that smart phones are now more affordable. By the end of year 2020, about 80% of smart phone subscriptions will be from Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The report also shows that GSM/EDGE subscriptions will remain predominant till 2020 in Sub-Saharan Africa because of the number of low income consumers using 2G enabled handsets.

At this point, data usage cannot be ignored, because the use of smart phones and data are almost inseparable. The report envisages a ten-fold increase in data usage by 2020 and 80% all mobile data traffic will be from smart phones. On the average in North America, monthly data usage per smart phone by year 2020 will increase from 2.4GB to 14GB.


According to the Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer of Ericsson (Rima Qureshi) “This immense growth in advanced mobile technology and data usage, driven by a surge in mobile connectivity and smart phone uptake, will make today’s big data revolution feel like the arrival of a floppy disk. 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.”

The expanding range of applications and business models, falling costs of modems and the new use cases for short and long range applications are key pointers to the accelerated growth of connected devices.

The Ericsson report also projects 26billion connected devices by the year 2020. For every year until 2020, there will be a 55% growth on mobile video traffic and this will constitute about 60% of all mobile data traffic. This growth is largely due to the video streaming services and an increase of videos in online contents like news, advertisements and social media. Taking a close look at the data usage in advanced mobile broadband markets, about 10% of the subscribers are heavy data users who generate 55% of total data traffic. These heavy data users have video as a predominant feature of their activities.

The Ericsson Mobility report gives projected data, subscriptions, consumer behavior, analysis of mobile traffic trends and traffic measurements in over 100 live networks in all major regions of the world. Traffic measurements are made in a selected number of commercial WCDMA/HSPA and LTE networks to discover the different traffic patterns.

I'm Adeyanju Toluwanimi| Strategic in disposition and great at combining several approaches to problem solving.
I'm Adeyanju Toluwanimi| Strategic in disposition and great at combining several approaches to problem solving.
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I'm Adeyanju Toluwanimi| Strategic in disposition and great at combining several approaches to problem solving.

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