Mobile penetration to hit 120% in '18

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
By 2018 mobile penetration rates will reach a whopping 120% and 2G will no longer account for the majority of mobile subscriptions, according to two separate analyst predictions.
 
Worldwide wireless connections climbed to 6.5 billion in 2013, and are on track to reach almost 9 billion in 2018, according to market strategy consultancy iGR.
 
Due to the proliferation of multiple device users, this would represent a total global mobile penetration rate of 120%, up from 91.8% in 2013.
 
“Subscribers in developed markets are no longer using only a single smartphone connection, but are increasingly connecting via a smartphone, tablet and connected car,” iGR president and founder Iain Gillott said.
 
TeleGeography meanwhile estimates that 2G subscribers declined for the first time in 2013, ceding ground to 3G and LTE subscriptions.
 
While 2G users still accounted for 70% of the world's 6.8 billion mobile subscribers in 2013, by 2018, the firm expects that to fall to 42% of global subscribers.
 
But 3G and LTE uptake rates vary wildly by region, with APAC's 3G and LTE subscriber base still accounting for less than 30% of mobile subscribers by end-2013. By contrast, more than 80% of wireless subscribers in North America are on 3G or 4G.
 
“While global 2G subscribers are declining, a mass shutdown of 2G networks remains far off, particularly in emerging markets in Africa and Asia,” TeleGeography analyst Mark Gibson commented. “Growth has shifted to 3G and LTE services, but 2G is projected to serve nearly 3.5 billion of the world’s 8.3 billion mobile subscribers in 2018.”

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