Smartphone subscriptions to hit 90 million in 2021

Strong smartphone subscription and data growth are seen to be driving the telecommunications industry in the Philippines, according to the findings from the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, one of the leading analyses of mobile data traffic available, providing in-depth measurements from live networks spread around the globe. According to the report, mobile subscription penetration is expected to reach close to 130 percent by 2021 after having climbed to 115 percent in 2015, while LTE is expected to grow close to 70 percent in 2021. “By 2021, insights from the Ericsson Mobility Report indicate that the smartphone subscriptions in the country will more than double from close to 40 million in 2015 to around 90 million in 2021,” Sean Gowran, President and Country Manager of Ericsson Philippines and Pacific Islands, shared. The report also showed that mobile broadband (MBB) subscription penetration for the country stood at almost 50 percent in 2015, but it is predicted to reach more than 120 percent by 2021. “Aside from increasing affordability of smartphones and improvements in broadband coverage that our operators are working on, we think the youth segment of the market is one of the key drivers of mobile broadband growth, as they are more likely to be viewing online videos, using social networking and instant messaging apps on a daily basis,” Gowran said. Globally, the Ericsson Mobility Report detailed a dramatic shift in teen viewing habits: use of cellular data for smartphone video grew 127 percent in just 15 months from 2014 to 2015. Over a period of four years (2011-2015) there has been nearly 50 percent drop in the time teens spend watching on a TV screen and an 85 percent increase in time spent watching on a smartphone. Compared with mobile broadband subscription penetration, the Philippines’ fixed broadband subscription penetration was just above 10 percent in 2015. “By 2021, however, we see this penetration rate going up to almost 20 percent,” Gowran said. Worldwide, the Ericsson Mobility Report revealed that the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to overtake mobile phones as the largest category of connected device by 2018. Between 2015 and 2021, the number of IoT connected devices is expected to grow 23 percent annually.


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