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M2M devices to grow 3-4 times by 2019: Ericsson

June 6, 2014  

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The latest Ericsson Mobility Report reveals that the number of active cellular M2M devices will increase three to four times by 2019, from 200 million at the end of 2013. While the majority of cellular M2M devices today are still GSM-only, that is expected to shift by 2016 when 3G/4G will represent the majority of active cellular M2M subscriptions.

“We see cellular M2M taking off,” said Rima Qureshi, Ericsson’s new chief strategy officer, who took over recently from Douglas Gilstrap, who will leave the company in August. “Over time, cellular M2M services and applications related to, for example, intelligent transport systems, will require very short latency in order to be efficient. By 2019 we estimate that more than 20% of the active cellular M2M devices will be connected to LTE subscriptions. We also see new device-to-device and M2M applications as a key focus of 5G networks.”

Next year the total number of mobile subscriptions will exceed the world’s population. Mobile subscriptions have grown by 7% year-over-year, with 120 million net additions in Q1 alone. Mobile broadband subscriptions also continue to grow and will reach 7.6 billion by the end of 2019, representing more than 80 percent of total mobile subscriptions.

The report also found that in two years time, the number of smartphone subscriptions will exceed those for basic phones and by 2019 the number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to reach 5.6 billion.

Further coverage will appear in the July-August issue of Connections+.