Ericsson reveals strong growth in global mobile broadband user numbers

Ericsson has revealed that the number of mobile broadband subscribers grew 35 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2014, to 2.4 billion.

In an interim update to its regular Ericsson Mobility Report market analysis, the Sweden-headquartered vendor estimates that 140 million mobile broadband subscriptions were added globally in the quarter. The company said the mobile subscription total--including 2G and 3G users--hit 6.8 billion in the second quarter, though it estimates the number of actual mobile users at 4.6 billion after removing dual subscriptions.

The company says the mobile subscription total grew about 6 per cent year-on-year and 1.1 per cent sequentially.

On a regional basis, much of the growth is coming from Asia Pacific. China, India and Indonesia were among the fastest-growing countries in the second quarter, Ericsson's figures show. In Europe, growth is dominated by Central and Eastern European countries, where 8 million mobile subscribers were added in the quarter. Western Europe saw 3 million subscribers added.

The number of subscriptions in the Middle East increased by 6 million, and 20 million were added in Africa.

At the end of the second quarter, penetration stood at 144 per cent in Eastern Europe, 127 per cent in Western Europe, 108 per cent in the Middle East and 75 per cent in Africa.

Smartphones still have room to grow, Ericsson said, while revealing that the devices accounted for about 35 per cent of all mobile phone subscriptions in the second quarter. About 300 million smartphones were sold in the period, accounting for 65 per cent of all devices sold.

The popularity of smartphones, and the greater availability of WCDMA, HSPA and LTE networks, helped fuel a 60 per cent year-on-year rise in mobile data traffic in the quarter. The demand for data is taking its toll on the number of GSM-only subscriptions sold. Ericsson estimates net adds for the technology fell by 40 million year-on-year in the quarter, a rate of 1 per cent.

For more:
- read Ericsson's interim update [PDF]

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