Global mobile subscriber base tops 7b

29 Jul 2015
00:00
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The global mobile subscriber base has surpassed 7 billion, with APAC home to more than half of these, according to TeleGeography.

Statistics compiled by the company show that there were 7.1 billion mobile subscribers as of the end of the first quarter. APAC accounted for 3.7 billion of these, making it by far the largest region for mobile subscribers.

Asia added 194 million subscribers between the first quarter of last year and Q1 of 2015, accounting for over 60% of net new wireless subscribers worldwide.

But there is still plenty of room for growth, with an estimated 270 million people in the region without a mobile phone.

In addition, while China and India alone accounted for 2.3 billion subscribers, 90% of Indian customers remain on 2G networks, giving operators the opportunity to upgrade them to 3G. China by contrast has emerged as a significant 4G market, with an estimated 162 million LTE subscribers.

But it is the US that remains at the forefront of LTE adoption, with an estimated 50% of subscribers using 4G technology.

“Despite widespread mobile subscriber increases, growth is not as rapid as it once was,” TeleGeography analyst Mark Gibson noted.

“While opportunities for ongoing subscriber gains remain in some areas, many operators in developed, highly-penetrated markets are turning their focus elsewhere, to goals such as ARPU stabilization via the migration of customers to 3G and 4G plans, user retention in the battle with low-cost MVNOs, and achieving growth via M&A activity.”

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