Report of recent survey conducted by Ericsson has predicted that the 40 per cent sale of smartphones in the third quarter of 2012 was an indication that the growth of smartphones will soon overtake mobile data traffic.
The study also showed smartphones is expected to grow 12 times between 2012 and 2018, driven mainly by video as total mobile subscriptions were expected to reach 6.6 billion in 2012 and 9.3 billion in 2018.
The survey revealed that there were an additional 13 million Long Term Evolution (LTE) subscriptions in the third quarter of 2012, and that the numbers were predicted to reach 1.6 billion by 2018.
According to the latest Ericsson mobility report, formerly known as the 'Ericsson Traffic and Market Report', "approximately 40 per cent of all phones sold globally in the third quarter of 2012 were smartphones. Data traffic doubled between the third quarter of 2011 and the third quarter of 2012, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 50 per cent between 2012 and 2018, driven mainly by video."
Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy at Ericsson, Mr. Douglas Gilstrap, commented: "Expectations of mobile-network quality have been elevated by the availability of smartphones and tablets that have changed the way we use the internet. Mobility is becoming an increasingly significant part of our daily lives; we always have devices within arm's reach, allowing us instant access to information, entertainment and social interaction."
He added: "Total mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 6.6 billion by the end of 2012 and 9.3 billion by the end of 2018. These figures do not include machine-to-machine (M2M) subscriptions. China alone accounted for about 35 per cent of net additions during the third quarter, with about 40 million additional subscriptions. Brazil was 9 million, Indonesia 7 million, and the Philippines 5 million, in terms of net additions. Overall, global mobile penetration reached 91 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, and mobile subscriptions now total around 6.4 billion. Mobile subscriptions have grown by around 9 per cent year-on-year and 2 percent quarter-on-quarter," Gilstrap said.
According to him, by middle of 2012, LTE coverage was provided for an estimated 455 million people globally. Within five years, more than half the world's population is expected to benefit from to LTE coverage.
LTE is the fastest-developing system in the history of mobile communications in terms of buildout and uptake. LTE is currently being deployed and built out in all regions, and total subscription is expected to increase from around 55 million at the end of 2012 to an estimated 1.6 billion in 2018.