With 15 million new subscriptions in Q3 2016, India topped the list of countries adding to the global mobile subscriber base, says the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. About 84 million new mobile subscriptions were added globally, taking the total number of new subscriptions to 5.1 billion across the world.
Interestingly, India is not among the regions where there are more mobile subscriptions than people. While India clocks 81 per cent subscriptions and China 93 per cent, Central and Eastern Europe tops with 144 per cent subscription penetration.
While companies have started talking about 5G, GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions are still the largest category on mobile. By 2019, 4G LTE could become the dominant “mobile access technology” connecting 4.6 billion subscriptions. By 2022, LTE subscriptions could be up to five times higher than GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions and three times that of WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions.
However, GSM/EDGE will continue to be a viable option in developing markets and 3G/4G subscriptions will use this as a fallback option.
Video and social networks will be crucial in pushing up data consumption in the coming years, says the report. While, mobile video traffic is forecast to grow by around 50 per cent every year till 2022 adding up to about 75 per cent of all mobile data traffic, social networking will grow 39 per cent annually. Interestingly, embedded video in social media and web pages continues to grow and will be counted as video traffic.
Ericsson believes time to content will be crucial in how users choose services in coming years. It says minimum uplink speed of about 300 kbps is required for a good time-to-content, but in some metropolitan areas, there is up to a 20 per cent chance of not getting good uplink speeds during peak hours. “As web pages continue to grow richer and new apps such as live streaming become more popular, the demands on uplink are ever increasing,” the report said.