Global mobile subscriptions hit the 5 billion mark yesterday, according to estimates based on industry information compiled by Ericsson. In the year 2000, just 720 million people were wireless subscribers, less than the amount of users China alone has today.
Ericsson said the growth was being driven largely by emerging markets like India and China. Two million people become new mobile users every day and more than 500 million people use 3G service.
Mobile broadband subscriptions are growing at a similar pace and are expected to surpass 3.4 billion by 2015, from 360 million last year, Ericsson said.
“Mobile subscriptions allow people who don’t have access to a bank or a bank account to transfer money; fishermen and farmers can get quick updates on sudden changes in the weather forecast,” Ericsson said, adding that villagers also can get local medical care and children can access online education. “It facilitates daily operations of small businesses and drives economic growth.”
In more mature markets with higher concentrations of mobile subscribers, connected devices like machine-to-machine (M2M) modules are driving increases in network traffic. According to Ericsson’s forecast, the industry will reach 50 billion connections within this decade. In December 2009, the amount of data traffic exceeded the amount of voice traffic going over mobile networks.
Filed Under: Infrastructure