By 2020, 70% of World's Population To Have Smartphones

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 03, 2015

smartphones

While the smartphone population is soaring all over the world, mobile handset maker Ericsson has put a figure on the number of users using smartphones by 2020. In its latest  Mobility Report, Ericsson predicts that smartphone subscriptions will more than double, reaching 6.1 billion, which would mean that 70 percent of the world’s population will be using smartphones, and 90 percent will be covered by mobile broadband networks.

The report states, in developing regions, it comes from a swell of new subscribers as smartphones become more affordable; almost 80% of smartphone subscriptions added by year-end 2020 will be from Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.

Increased mobile data usage

With the continued rise of smartphones comes an accelerated growth in data usage: smartphone data is predicted to increase ten-fold by 2020, when 80 percent of all mobile data traffic will come from smartphones. Average monthly data usage per smartphone in North America will increase from 2.4 GB today to 14 GB by 2020.

Rima Qureshi, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, Ericsson, says: “This immense growth in advanced mobile technology and data usage, driven by a surge in mobile connectivity and smartphone uptake, will makes today’s big data revolution feel like the arrival of a floppy disk.

We see the potential for mass-scale transformation, bringing a wealth of opportunities for telecom operators and others to capture new revenue streams. But it also requires greater focus on cost efficient delivery and openness to new business models to compete and remain effective.”

The report also points to 26 billion connected devices by 2020, confirming we are well on the way to reaching the vision of 50 billion connected devices.  

High  mobile video traffic

Each year until 2020, mobile video traffic will grow by a staggering 55 percent per year and will constitute around 60 percent of all mobile data traffic by the end of that period. Growth is largely driven by shifting user preferences towards video streaming services, and the increasing prevalence of video in online content including news, advertisements and social media.

When looking at data consumption in advanced mobile broadband markets, findings show a significant proportion of traffic is generated by a limited number of subscribers. These heavy data users represent 10 percent of total subscribers but generate 55 percent of total data traffic. Video is dominant among heavy users, who typically watch around one hour of video per day, which is 20 times more than the average user.