Mobile technology adoption continues to grow across the globe, with Africa nearing the billion mark in mobile subscriptions as of the third quarter of 2014, according to a new mobility report by Ericsson.
The mobility report, which focuses on mobile trends that are leveraging big data from live networks worldwide, puts mobile subscriptions in Africa at 800 million for Q3 of 2014, and predicts that 90% of the world’s population over six years will be connected to a mobile device come 2020.
According to Ericsson, mobile penetration across Africa has increased with an addition of 26 new subscriptions in the Q3 period to stand at 77 percent.
With Africa seeing a new rise of low cost smartphones in the mobile market, the report says smartphone penetration is set to increase, with subscriptions standing at 6.1 billion by the year 2020 and 85 per cent of Middle East and Africa subscriptions being 3G and 4G.
The number of smartphones purchased in the third quarter period constituted 65-70 per cent of all phones purchased, a significant increase from the 55 per cent recorded in the same quarter for 2013.
“The increased availability of low-cost smartphones in sub-Saharan Africa will lead to a rapid increase of smartphone subscriptions in the region,” said Fredrik Jejdling, President & Regional Head at Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa.
“However, GSM/EDGE only subscriptions will remain the most common subscription type for the next five years due to the high numbers of lower income consumers using 2G-enabled handsets,” He added.
As smartphones intake increases, Ericsson says there is still plenty of room for growth for the smartphone sector which currently accounts for only 37 per cent of all mobile phone subscriptions.
Also according to the report, video has become the largest and fastest growing segment of mobile data traffic as it continues to dominate mobile networks and continues to increasingly appear as part of other online applications such as news and adverts as well as on social media.
Pivoted by the continued roll out of 4G LTE networks across nations, which allows for faster video streaming and improved video experience, Video makes up for up to 55 per cent of mobile traffic in 4G networks.
New devices that come to users as more evolved to feature large screens and enable higher picture quality for streamed video will result to higher quantities of consumption for both at home and on the go, facilitating for a tenfold increase in the mobile video traffic by 2020.
Expected to be commercially deployed in 2020 and attract a faster uptake as opposed to 4G LTE, according to Ericsson, 5G will also encompass evolved versions of existing radio access, cloud, and core technologies to facilitate for new ways of using mobile technologies.
Already enterprises are taking up new ways of doing business through the availability of a combination of various technologies, including cloud, social, big data and mobile technologies.