Ericsson mobility report November 2013 highlights

Telecom equipment vendor Ericsson has shared the highlight of mobility report November 2013.

TelecomLead is presenting the key points from the report.

The number of mobile subscriptions worldwide has grown approximately 7 percent year-on-year during Q3 2013.

The number of mobile broadband subscriptions grew at 40 percent, exceeding 2 billion in 2013.

Around 55 percent of all mobile phones sold in Q3 2013 were smartphones.

Total mobile subscriptions up to and including Q3 2013 are at around 6.6 billion, including 113 million new subscriptions added during the third quarter.

Global mobile subscriptions have increased seven percent year-on-year and two percent quarter-on-quarter. The actual number of subscribers however, is lower, at around 4.5 billion. This is because many people have several subscriptions.

Smartphones accounted for around 55 percent of all mobile phones sold in Q3 2013, compared to around 40 percent for the full year in 2012.

Global mobile broadband subscriptions grew around 40 percent, with around 150 million additions.

With around 25 million additions in Q3 2013, LTE has reached 150 million subscriptions, while WCDMA/HSPA has the highest net additions at around 80 million. Almost all of these 3G/4G subscriptions have access to GSM/EDGE as a fallback. The number of GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions did not increase.

By Q3 2013, total mobile subscriptions were around 6.6 billion. By the end of 2019, they are expected to reach around 9.3 billion. Global mobile broadband subscriptions passed 2 billion in 2013, and are predicted to grow 4 times by 2019, reaching 8 billion.

In developed markets there has been rapid migration to more advanced technologies, resulting in a decline in GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions. Despite this, GSM/EDGE will continue to represent a large share of total mobile subscriptions. This is because new, less affluent users entering networks in growing markets will likely choose a low cost mobile phone and subscription. In addition, it takes time for the installed base of phones to be upgraded.

GSM/EDGE networks will also continue to be important in complementing WCDMA/HSPA and LTE coverage. LTE is being deployed and built-out in all regions, and will reach around 2.6 billion subscriptions in 2019. These subscriptions will represent the high-end share of the total subscriber base by 2019.

Subscriptions for basic phones will decline from around 4.5 billion today to around 3 billion in 2019.

Total smartphone subscriptions will reach 1.9 billion at the end of 2013 and are expected to grow to 5.6 billion in 2019. In 2016 there will be more smartphone subscriptions globally than those for basic phones.

In 2019, almost all handsets in Western Europe and North America will be smartphones, compared to 50 percent of handset subscriptions in the Middle East and Africa. The number of mobile subscriptions for mobile PCs, tablets and mobile routers is expected to grow from 300 million in 2013 to around 800 million in 2019.

In North America, LTE will represent the majority of subscriptions in the region in 2016, growing to around 85 percent in 2019. GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions will progressively decline. This fast growth in LTE subscriptions is driven by competition and consumer demand, following CDMA operators’ early decisions to migrate to LTE.

In 2019, WCDMA/HSPA will be the dominant technology in Latin America, however GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions will still be significant.

In Western Europe WCDMA/HSPA is the dominant technology today. By the end of the forecast period, LTE will make up around 55 percent of the subscriptions base in Western Europe.

The Asia Pacific market continues to see a significant increase in mobile subscriptions with 1.4 billion net additions up until the end of 2019. It represents approximately 50 percent of added mobile subscriptions globally. Markets such as Japan and South Korea will take up LTE subscriptions early compared to less developed countries. Today LTE penetration is already over 20 percent in Japan and over 50 percent in South Korea. China will add substantial LTE subscriptions during the forecast period, reaching over 700 million by the end of 2019. Asia Pacific is progressing towards 3G and 4G. In 2013, around 75 percent of mobile subscriptions were 2G, while around 85 percent will be 3G/4G in 2019.

Central and Eastern Europe shows a strong increase in HSPA subscriptions. LTE will initially grow in the most developed parts of the region, and will be present in almost all countries by 2015.

In 2013, the Middle East and Africa is dominated by GSM/EDGE, which represents around 80 percent of mobile subscriptions in the region. Dramatic changes will take place in the coming years and in 2019 WCDMA/HSPA and LTE will represent the same share of subscriptions as GSM/EDGE does today.

Data traffic grew around 10 percent between Q2 and Q3 2013. Mobile data traffic is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 45 percent (2013-2019). This will result in an increase of around 10 times by the end of 2019.

In 2013, total mobile traffic generated by mobile phones exceeded that from mobile PCs, tablets and mobile routers for the first time. Traffic in the mobile phone segment is primarily generated by smartphones.

By 2019, smartphone subscriptions are expected to triple, resulting in rapid traffic growth. Total monthly smartphone traffic over mobile networks will increase around 10 times between 2013 and 2019.

Ericsson Mobility Report November 2013

Mobile data traffic will grow considerably faster than fixed data traffic over the forecast period – the fixed data traffic CAGR will be around 25 percent between 2013 and 2019. Mobile data traffic represents 5 percent of total mobile and fixed traffic in 2013, and 12 percent in 2019.

Asia Pacific will have a high share of the total mobile traffic both in 2013 and 2019. The main reason for this is the rapid growth in subscriptions. China alone will add over 500 million mobile subscriptions. There are large differences in usage volumes and patterns within Asia Pacific, with countries such as South Korea and Japan deploying LTE early, whereas other countries are still dominated by GSM networks.

In 2013, North America and Western Europe have a significantly larger share of total traffic volume than their subscription numbers alone would imply. This is due to a high proportion of data-rich devices in WCDMA/HSPA and LTE networks.

In Western Europe, operators made early efforts to use mobile broadband as a substitute for fixed broadband by offering competitive tariffs for dongles. North America will have a smaller share of global traffic in 2019 than in 2013. This is because the smartphone share of total phone subscriptions – expected to be 90 percent in 2015 – will be saturated before the other regions. In 2019, Western Europe will be the only region with a higher share of traffic from mobile PCs, tablets and mobile routers than from mobile phones. This is due to a high penetration of these devices, in particular mobile routers that are associated with high traffic volumes from fixed broadband substitution in some countries.

The largest and fastest growing mobile data traffic segment is video. It is expected to increase by around 55 percent annually up until the end of 2019, by which point it is forecasted to account for more than 50 percent of global mobile traffic.

41 percent of people aged between 65 and 69 stream video content over mobile and fixed networks on at least a weekly basis. People watch video on all types of devices. This is increasingly the case when they are out and about. Video streaming services, such as Netflix, HBO and Vimeo, have shown very strong uptake in some markets. In addition, operators are increasingly making their own TV services available as streaming services on mobile networks.

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