Nearly 2.6 billion mobile broadband users expected by 2022

Nearly 2.6 billion mobile broadband users expected by 2022 [Image: Marco_Piunti via iStock]

Almost 2.6 billion new subscribers will be added to mobile internet networks by 2022 – an average of one million per day – according to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report.

The study has revealed the highest year-on-year mobile data growth around the world since 2013, which the company said it being led by significant growth in India. Ericsson said this highlights the underlying need for mobile data.

According to the report, the use of smartphones and the ease of access to mobile internet services are behind a significant proportion of this rise. Ericsson found that by the end of 2022, total smartphone mobile data traffic will have increased ninefold, reaching 66 ExaBytes per month.

Niklas Heuveldop, chief strategy officer and head of technology and emerging business at Ericsson, said: “4G subscriptions are increasing faster than ever, Voice over LTE uptake is accelerating and traffic growth has reached levels we have not seen since 2013.”

He added that he is “particularly excited to see the industry's major steps to progress network evolution, including the approval of the Non-Standalone 5G New Radio (NR) that will enable early 5G deployments”.

According to Mr Heuveldop, Ericsson now anticipates that this will lead to more than half a billion 5G subscriptions, as well as covering 15 per cent of the population by 2022.

Ericsson’s report also found that in 2018, LTE (4G) will overtake GSM as the largest access technology measured by the number of subscriptions. The company’s research found that the speed with which it has been rolled out and adopted is “unprecedented,” explaining that it has taken just five years for LTE to service 2.5 billion people. This is compared to eight years for or 3G.

The report revealed that, in just the first quarter of 2017, the world saw 250 million new LTE subscriptions added.