9 billion on mobile by 2012
According to Ericsson’s new Traffic and Market Report, by the end of 2011, total mobile subscriptions reached around 6 billion and are expected to reach around 9 billion by the end of 2017. The number of mobile broadband subscriptions reached close to 1 billion by the end of last year, and is predicted to reach 5 billion in 2017, says the report.
85% of the world's population will have internet coverage via 3G and 50% will have 4G by 2017, Ericsson says.
The report says Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEMA) shows strong subscriptions growth driven by population and GDP growth. HSPA will grow significantly, while LTE growth will be slower.
The report noted that the CEMA region is a diverse one, with mature countries expected to show growth patterns similar to those in Europe, while most African countries will have completely different patterns.
The data in the report also shows variations between countries and regions. In the case of mobile net additions, China added the most subscriptions for a single country in Q1 2012 with 39 million, followed by India with 25 million. The Asia Pacific region added in total 93 million subscriptions, followed by Africa with 30 million.
Africa shows 55% penetration in terms of subscriptions. However, Ericsson notes that
there is a large difference between the number of subscriptions and the number of actual subscribers. This is due to the fact that many subscribers have several subscriptions.