It was just over one year ago that the number of mobile devices in the world surpassed world population, which at the time was around 7.19 billion according to data from GSMA Intelligence.
Now, mobility has sped past yet another milestone: there are more mobile subscriptions today than people.
While GSMA pegs the number of unique mobile subscribers at 3.8 billion with a year-over-year growth rate of 5.35 per cent, a new report from Ericsson estimates that by the end of the year there will be 7.4 billion subscriptions or roughly the same number as humans, which today total 7,38 billion.
This number accounts for both active or inactive subscriptions, with multiple subscriptions per user making up for those that do not have access.
Ericsson’s estimates of the number of actual subscribers is 4.9 billion, 1.1 billion higher than GSMA’s projections.
Also noteworthy are the estimated 2015 to 2021 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of various technologies. Smartphone subscriptions in general will grow at a CAGR of 10 per cent, with LTE subscriptions leading at 25 per cent. GSM/EDGE will be phased out at a CAGR of -15 per cent, while 5G, which began trials this week in Japan, will see adoption by 150 million users, according to the report.