India added the maximum 13 million new mobile subscribers globally in the third quarter of 2015, according to Ericsson Mobility Report.
The report said that China and USA added 7 million and 6 million respectively. Myanmar added 5 million new customers during the quarter, followed by Nigeria with 4 million new subscribers.
Global mobile subscriptions are growing around 5 percent year-on-year. The total number of mobile subscriptions in Q3 2015 was around 7.3 billion, including 87 million new subscriptions, the report said.
The number of mobile broadband subscriptions is growing globally by around 25 percent year-on-year, increasing by approximately 160 million in the third quarter 2015 alone. The global mobile broadband base stood at 3.4 billion at the end of the quarter.
The report said that LTE subscriptions have reached around 850 million subscriptions, with around 120 million additions in the quarter. WCDMA/HSPA added around 70 million during the quarter. The majority of 3G/4G subscriptions have access to GSM/EDGE as a fallback, and GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions declined by 60 million.
Mobile broadband subscriptions will reach 7.7 billion globally by 2021. They account for an overwhelming share of all broadband subscriptions. Mobile broadband will complement fixed broadband in some segments, and will be the dominant mode of access in others.
Many PCs and tablets are used without a mobile subscription, one reason being the price difference between Wi-Fi only models and those with mobile capabilities. Despite this, the number of devices with mobile capabilities and a subscription will increase by 50 percent by 2021.
Ericsson predicts that there will be 150 million 5G subscriptions by the end of 2021. It expects that 5G subscription uptake would to be faster than for 4G. In 2021, South Korea, Japan, China and the US are expected to have the fastest uptake of 5G subscriptions.
5G networks, based on standards that will meet ITU IMT-2020 requirements, are expected to be deployed commercially in 2020. Pre-standard, pre-commercial networks are expected to be launched earlier in selected markets. 5G subscriptions will provide enhancements in mobile broadband services, as well as enable a wider range of use cases.
By 2016 the number of smartphone subscriptions will surpass those for basic phones, the report said, adding that smartphones make up the majority of mobile broadband devices today and subscriptions are expected to almost double by 2021, due to greater affordability in developing markets such as Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.
Smartphones accounted for close to 75 percent of all mobile phones sold in the third quarter 2015, compared to around 70 percent during the same period last year. Today around 45 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions are associated with smartphones, compared with around 40 percent in 2014, leaving considerable room for further uptake.