It often is helpful to note problems the world has solved.
So it is that Ericsson now predicts 90 percent of people aged six years and over will use mobile phones by 2020, when the number of smartphone subscriptions is set to reach 6.1 billion.
It will have taken a couple of decades, but we will fundamentally have solved the problem of providing voice and text communications to everyone.
The new challenge is to build on those accomplishments by providing Internet access and apps to everyone. The Ericsson report suggests we are well on the way. The number of mobile broadband subscriptions grew 30 percent year over year, reaching 2.5 billion accounts.
Some 65 percent to 70 percent of all mobile phones sold in the third quarter of 2014 were smartphones. That has contributed to 60 percent growth in mobile data traffic during the 12 months since the third quarter of 2013.
Notably, subscribers in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa are exchanging their basic phones for smartphones. By 2020, global mobile broadband subscriptions are predicted to
reach 8.4 billion. at which point mobile high speed access will account for 90 percent of global high speed access accounts.
As a direct result, network traffic will primarily be generated by smartphones, as total monthly smartphone traffic over mobile networks will increase around 800 percent between 2014 and 2020.
Video is the largest and fastest growing segment of mobile data traffic, expected to grow by
45 percent annually through to 2020, by which time it is forecast to account for around
55 percent of all global mobile data traffic.
Social networking will drive 15 percent of total traffic. Web browsing will represent about five percent of total traffic.