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Global smartphone subscriptions to hit 5.6bn by 2019 – Ericsson

Global mobile subscriptions are expected to reach a threshold of 9.3 billion by 2019, with smartphones accounting for about 5.6 billion (or 60 per cent), due to rising smartphone user experience.
According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, released at the International telecommunication Union Conference in Bangkok Thailand, last weekend, about 90 percent of the world’s population will be covered by WCDMA/HSPA in 2019 and 65 percent by the Long Term Evolution (LTE)/ 4G.
Smartphone subscriptions, the report disclosed would triple and smartphone traffic would increase 10 times between 2013 and 2019 reaching 10 exabytes. It also noted that video is growing at  55 percent annually, and this will represent more than 50 percent of the mobile data traffic, while social networking and web services will account for 10 percent each in 2019.
The reports, Ericsson maintained includes an appendix providing data and insights on telecommunication trends in sub Saharan Africa over the next 5 years, noted that mobile subscriptions are projected to grow to around 930 million by the end of 2019, with a 446 percent growth in low cost smartphones, PC’s and tablets, and increased viewing of video.
Speaking on this latest report, Ericsson’s Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy, Mr. Douglas Gilstrap, noted that the  rapid pace of smartphone uptake has been phenomenal and is set to continue. It took more than five years to  reach the first billion smartphone subscriptions, but it will take less than two to hit the 2 billion mark1. Between now and 2019, smartphone subscriptions will triple, it noted.
“Interestingly, this trend will be driven by uptake in China and other emerging markets as lower-priced smartphone models become available”.
Currently, smartphones represent 25-30 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions globally, but account for the majority (55 percent) of mobile phones sold in Q3. Over the forecast period, smartphone uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa will be relatively rapid, driven partly by low-cost smartphones entering the market and the increasing demand for content services to be delivered over mobile devices.
Gilstrap ,further explained that this edition of Ericsson Mobility Report also includes further analysis of applications (Apps) coverage2, a new approach to evaluating network performance and user experience, with particular focus on indoor and city environments. Radio signals attenuate rapidly as they go through buildings and the high concentration of users, building material and height all pose additional challenges.
Said he: “Having good mobile coverage is an important aspect of life for many; it is now ranked among the top five satisfaction factors of life in a city. As the majority of mobile traffic originates from cities, Ericsson compares three different strategies to provide indoor coverage using simulation software to predict the extent of app coverage in high-rise buildings in this
Issue”. Adding that Ericsson has created the Traffic Exploration Tool, for creating customized graphs and tables using data from the report and that this  information can be filtered by region, subscription, technology, traffic and device type.

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