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Mobile subscriptions soar as operators share 92m new users

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Ericsson in its Mobility Report for Q2 claimed that the number in itself is actually growing six per cent year-on-year, bringing the total up to 7.7 billion across the globe.


• Teledensity falls by 8% in Nigeria

Mobile subscriptions have maintained an upward swing, as telecommunications operators’ across the globe share a total of 92 million new subscribers in the second quarter (Q2).

Ericsson in its Mobility Report for Q2 claimed that the number in itself is actually growing six per cent year-on-year, bringing the total up to 7.7 billion across the globe.

However, operators in Nigeria are not smiling, as they cumulatively lost between 10 million and 12 million subscribers in the half year, bringing the country’s teledensity down from 110 per cent in January to 102 per cent by June, according to statistics obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission.

NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Sunday Dare, blamed the continued fall in mobile subscription in the country to many factors, chief of which has been the economic recession.

According to Ericsson with global mobile subscription hitting 7.7 billion, “there are more mobile phone subscriptions than there are people on the planet.”  The report however, noted that the total number of unique subscriptions around the world currently stands at 5.3 billion, which means that on the average, for every person there are 1.45 mobile phone subscriptions.

Sitting at the top of the pile, in terms of net additions, is China with 19 million. In fact, when you go back to the total number of subscriptions, there are more in China and India (just over 2.5 billion), than there are in Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South America combined.

Another interesting area is the room for growth in the smartphone market. Smartphones now account for 56 per cent of the total subscriptions, accounting for 80 per cent of all sales across the most recent quarter.

The budget smartphone market is not one which is seen as attractive to the big boys, but if someone could come up with a practical and affordable smartphones, which would suit the emerging markets, there is a lot of room to make money. Unfortunately, this is not seen as a viable or attractive business model.

In terms of the total amount of traffic which is crossing the networks now, this is another area which has seen a notable uplift. An increase in data just goes without saying, however Ericsson has noted pricing trends in India and the introduction of more favourable data plans, has bumped up the numbers further than expected year-on-year. Sequentially, the total amount of data consumed increased by 10 per cent, though comparing Q2 to the same quarter in 2016, the uplift stands at 67 per cent.


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