As mobility and a need for anytime communication is driving user adoption for an array of communication devices, smartphones are scoring well over other categories, globally. And as per a study conducted by telecom equipment provider Ericsson, mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 9.3bn globally by 2019, and more than 60% of these – 5.6bn – will be for smartphones, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.
A significant proportion of this growth will be driven by the uptake of smartphones in the Middle East and Africa as people increasingly exchange their basic phones for smartphones, which will consist of 50% of total handsets in the region by 2019. Currently, smartphones represent 25% to 30% of all mobile phone subscriptions, yet they account for the majority (55%) of mobile phones sold in Q3 2013.
In the year 2019, almost all handsets in Western Europe and North America will be smartphones. To support the smartphone user experience, WCDMA/HSPA networks are predicted to cover 90% of the world’s population by 2019. Moreover, almost 65% of the world’s population will be covered by 4G/LTE networks.
Anders Lindblad, president of Ericsson, Middle East, said: “The rapid pace of smartphone uptake in the region has been phenomenal, with six million new mobile subscriptions in the Middle East in Q3 2013 alone. Amazingly, this growth does not show signs of slowing down. In the Middle East and Africa, mobile traffic will increase 11-fold between 2013 and 2019.
Smartphone traffic will grow by 10 times between 2013 and 2019, reaching 10 exabytes. Video is growing 55% annually, and will represent more than 50% of the mobile data traffic, while social networking and web services will account for around 10% each in 2019.