Today’s Ericsson Mobility Report 2017 said the number of mobile subscriptions reached 7.8 billion in Q3 2017 — growing at almost 6 percent year-on-year.
China (+30 million) had the most net additions of mobile subscriptions during the third quarter of 2017, followed by Indonesia (+7 million), the US (+4 million), Angola (+4 million) and Pakistan (+3 million).
India lost 3 million mobile subscriptions during the third quarter of 2017 as telecom operators started removing in-active mobile subscribers from their account.
The number of mobile broadband subscriptions is growing at around 20 percent year-on-year, increasing by 210 million in Q3 2017 alone. The number of mobile broadband subscriptions reached 5 billion.
Telecom operators have added 170 million LTE subscriptions to reach 2.5 billion. The net additions for WCDMA/HSPA or 3G were around 60 million subscriptions. The majority of 3G/4G subscriptions can use GSM/EDGE as a fallback.
Ericsson said GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions declined 130 million. Other technologies declined by around 5 million.
Subscriptions associated with smartphones account for 57 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions. Around 400 million smartphones were sold in Q3, which equates to 83 percent of all mobile phones sold in the quarter.
With the exception of India, subscriptions for mobile broadband now make up 50 percent or more of total subscriptions in all regions.
Middle East and Africa region will transform from a situation where half of all mobile subscriptions are GSM/EDGE-only, to one where 90 percent of subscriptions are for mobile broadband in 2023. Driving factors for this growth include a young and growing population with increasing digital skills, as well as more affordable smartphones.