Global mobile connections are projected to increase to almost 9.5 billion in 2019 from around 6.9 billion in 2014, as mobile devices including phones, tablets and connected cars proliferate.
According to a new report from research company iGR covering the period from 2014 to 2019, the global mobile penetration rate is also expected to increase to 125 per cent in 2019, up from 96.4 per cent in 2014.
The company commented that many countries experience mobile penetration of more than 100 per cent because one subscriber can often have several different connections, such as a mobile phone contract, a mobile hotspot and, increasingly, an embedded modem in a connected car. Indeed, the Internet of Things (IoT) is generating new connections in a number of new markets as increasingly more services and other types of devices go online.
In some markets, particularly in developing regions, mobile devices are regarded as the main voice and data communications tool with smartphones often providing the only way to connect to the Internet.
A further major change in the period from 2014-2019 will be the shift from 2G to 3G and then to 4G. According to iGR, 2G accounted for half of all mobile connections in 2014 but 3G is expected to become more predominant in the next five years. LTE connections or 4G are also expected to see rapid growth, increasing from just six per cent of all connections in 2014.
In terms of LTE network rollouts, iGR also noted in a separate report that global deployments are steadily progressing and LTE subscribers are growing worldwide. While the North American market currently leads in terms of LTE subscribers, iGR said this will change in the next five years as other regions continue to deploy LTE.
- see the reports from iGR
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