Global mobile subscriber base touches 4.5 bn

The global mobile subscriber base crossed 4.5 billion by the end of 2013, a recent report revealed. The Ericsson Mobility Report said that the  global mobile subscribers to be around 4.5 billion as many have multiple subscriptions.

It is to be noted that subscriber and subscription are different as one subscriber may have more than one subscriptions.

According to the report, total mobile subscriptions up to and including Q4 2013 were around 6.7 billion. Of these, 109 million new subscriptions were added during Q4.  Global mobile penetration was 92 percent in Q4 2013.

In Q4, 2013, both India and China accounted for around 20 percent of net additions, adding approximately 20 million subscriptions. Mobile subscriptions have grown around 6 percent year-on-year and 1.5 percent quarter-on-quarter.

In Q4 2013, mobile broadband subscriptions grew by around 150 million to 2.1 billion, reflecting a 40 percent year-on-year increase. WCDMA & HSPA subscriptions grew by around 70 million and LTE subscriptions increased by approximately 40 million, reaching 200 million. The total number of subscriptions capable of using GSM grew by 100 million, while GSM-only subscriptions were flat.

There is continued strong growth in smartphone subscriptions globally, despite a moderating rate of growth in regions such as North America. Around 1 billion smartphones were sold in 2013. This device represented close to 60 percent of all mobile phones sold in Q4 2013, compared to around 45 percent in Q4 2012. Of all mobile phone subscriptions, around 30 percent are associated with smartphones, leaving considerable room for further uptake.

The global traffic in Q4 2013 has shown a strong increase in data traffic with a moderating rate of growth and flat voice traffic development. The number of mobile data subscriptions is increasing rapidly, and driving growth in data traffic along with a continuous increase in the average data volume per subscription. Data traffic grew around 15 percent between Q3 and Q4 2013.

It should be noted that there are large differences in traffic levels between markets, regions and operators. These measurements have been collected by Ericsson over several years using a large base of commercial networks that together cover all regions of the world.

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