There are now more than five billion mobile connections worldwide, thanks to the soaring demand in emerging markets India and China. According to a study by Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson, the world's 5-billionth mobile subscription was added Thursday, 8 July 2010.
"In the year 2000, about 720 million people had mobile subscriptions, less than the amount of users China alone has today," Ericsson said. The study also found that the amount of mobile subscriptions rises around 2 million per day.
In addition, mobile broadband subscriptions are growing at similar pace and are expected to amount to more than 3.4 billion by 2015 (from 360 million in 2009). Studies show that soon 80 per cent of all people accessing the internet will be doing so using their mobile device.
Moreover, in more mature markets connected devices rather than people, are driving the increase in network traffic. According to Ericsson's vision, we will reach 50 billion connections by 2020. Machine-to-machine communications, or M2M, will be a key component in the future growth of the mobile industry.
"We envision 50 billion connected devices by 2020. Patients will be remotely connected to hospitals, trucks will be online with logistics centers for efficient routing, and city students will be connected to students in rural villages halfway around the world. Several operators have already established machine-to-machine departments to meet these demands. In this development we have to move from traditional telecom to IP, from hardware to software and from network rollouts to network evolution. HSPA and 4G/LTE will enable the 50 billion connected devices and the continued traffic growth," said Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of Ericsson.