IoT to Replace Mobile Phones as Most Connected Device in 2018

The 2016 Ericcson Mobility Report predicts there will be a total of approximately 28 billion connected devices worldwide by 2021, with nearly 16 billion related to IoT.

Ericcson said there were 400 million IoT devices with cellular subscriptions were active at the end of 2015, and Cellular IoT is expected to have the highest growth among the different categories of connected devices, reaching 1.5 billion connections in 2021. Ericcson cites the growth factors of 3GPP standardization of cellular IoT technologies and cellular connections benefiting from enhancements in provisioning, device management, service enablement and security.

Global mobile broadband subscriptions will reach 7.7 billion by 2021, accounting for 85 percent of all subscriptions, the report said. Ericcson is predicting there will be 9 billion mobile subscriptions, 7.7 billion mobile broadband subscriptions, and 6.3 billion smartphone subscriptions by 2021 as well.

Worldwide smartphone subscriptions will grow at a 10.6 percent CAGR from 2015 to 2012. Ericcson predicts that the Asia/Pacific (APAC) region will gain 1.7 billion new subscribers. The Middle East and Africa will have smartphone subscription rates will increase more than 200 percent between 2015–2021.

Mobile subscriptions are growing around 3 percent year-over-year globally and reached 7.4 billion in Q1 2016, with India the fastest growing market regarding net additions during the quarter (+21 million), followed by Myanmar (+5 million), Indonesia, (+5 million), the US (+3 million) and Pakistan (+3 million).

According to the report, 90 percent of subscriptions in Western Europe and 95 percent in North America will be for LTE/5G by 2021. The Middle East and Africa will see a dramatic shift from 2G to a market where almost 80 percent of subscriptions will be for 3G/4G.

Read the report at

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