Global telecom operators have 5 billion unique mobile subscribers, according to GSMA. 5 billion means that more than two-thirds of the population is connected to a mobile service. It has taken four years to add the latest 1 billion subscribers.
“Reaching the 5 billion subscriber milestone is a tremendous achievement for an industry that is only a few decades old, and reflects the many billions of dollars that mobile operators have invested in networks, services and spectrum over many years,” said Mats Granryd, director general of GSMA.
55 percent of mobile subscribers are based in the Asia Pacific region, which is home to the world’s two largest mobile markets: China and India. China accounts for more than a billion of the world’s subscribers, while India accounts for 730 million.
The above chart from Ericsson Mobility Report indicates about the growth of mobile subscribers and mobile Internet users for 2022.
Ericsson’s Mobility Report said mobile subscriptions are growing at around 4 percent year-on-year, reaching 7.6 billion in Q1 2017.
India grew the most in terms of net additions during the quarter (+43 million), followed by China (+24 million), Indonesia (+10 million), Pakistan (+5 million) and Nigeria (+3 million).
GSMA said the most penetrated region in the world is Europe, where 86 percent of citizens are subscribed to a mobile service. Sub-Saharan Africa is the least penetrated region at 44 percent.
The number of unique mobile subscribers will increase to 5.7 billion or almost three-quarters of the world’s population by the end of the decade. India is expected to account for the largest share of growth, responsible for around 30 percent of new unique subscribers by 2020.
In mature markets where subscriber growth is slowing, operators are evolving their business models to capture increasing value within the expanding mobile ecosystem, and providing the platform for a new digital world as we enter the 5G era.