The global mobile broadband subscription base grew by 200 million during the fourth quarter of 2017 to 5.2 billion, with mobile data traffic growing 15% from the previous quarter, according to Ericsson's latest Mobility Report.
Smartphone subscriptions grew to account for 59% of all mobile subscriptions during the quarter, and 400 million new smartphones were sold, representing 84% of all mobile phones sold during the period.
Mobile broadband subscriptions reached 1.14 billion in China, 1.16 billion in India and 1.58 billion in the remainder of the Asia-Pacific region.
Mobile data traffic meanwhile increased 55% year-on-year to nearly 14 exabytes per month, fueled primarily by growth in high-resolution mobile video streaming.
Global mobile penetration reached 103% for the quarter, with 53 million new subscriptions added to take the total to around 7.8 billion. Subscription penetration reached 102% in China, 87% in India and 118% for the rest of Asia-Pacific.
China recorded the highest net additions during the quarter at 23 million, followed by Indonesia (10 million), Bangladesh (4 million) and Pakistan (3 million).
By contrast, the number of subscriptions in India declined by 17 million, with a merger of two operators resulting in a clean out of inactive subscriptions.