Ruth Mitchell

More mobiles than people by 2017 predicts Ericsson

In the next five years the number of devices connected to mobile phone networks will overtake the number of people on earth.

According to the Ericsson technology group, there will be 9 billion mobile subscriptions by 2017, up from 6.2 billion at the start of 2012.

The increase has been attributed to high levels of demand for video, internet usage and storage of electronic files in the ‘cloud’, rather than on home or office computers.

Ericsson has also predicted that data traffic (excluding voice calls) will grow 15 time sover by 2017, and within that period half the world will be in range of superfast 4G mobile networks.

Chief executive Hans Vestberg said: “In 2008, there were 4 billion mobile subscriptions, and by 2017 there will be close to 9 billion subscriptions.

“With this kind of mobility and connectivity everywhere, there will be no differentiation between a business user and a private user.”

Smartphones are responsible for most of the internet traffic from handsets, with internet usage found to be highest amongst owners of iPhones, followed by Android and Windows phone subscribers.

It has been predicted that individuals’ experience of the internet will increasingly be through a mobile phone, and the number of handsets with an internet connection is expected to grow from 700 million at the end of 2011 to 3 billion in 5 years.

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