NEW YORK – Ericsson Mobility (NASDAQ:ERIC) estimates that by 2019, the number of smartphone subscription globally will grow to 5.6 billion. Those 5.6 billion subscriptions will represent just over 50 percent of the 9.3 billion total mobile subscriptions – including feature phones and tablets. If the numbers remain true, the total number of smartphone subscribers will represent a fourfold increase over the number of subscribers today.
On top of this, Ericsson estimated that mobile data traffic will increase tenfold in the same period. This will largely be driven by mobile subscriptions, which have grown 7 percent since last year – broadband subscriptions have grown 40 percent and should exceed 2 billion later this year. Compared to last year, the total number of smartphones sold was 15 percent higher than last year.
North America has the highest 4G LTE subscription rate with 85 percent of the total subscriber base and Ericsson estimates this will exceed 95 percent by 2019. This is fantastic news for carriers and smartphone manufacturers, such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (KS:005930), alike as customers will increase their dependence on their products and services.
Between the second and third quarters, mobile traffic in the U.S. grew by more than 10 percent and year-over-year traffic has grown by 80 percent. The explosion in mobile traffic has carriers scrambling to keep up with demand while equipment providers, such as Ericsson and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) have seen orders for new equipment rise.
The jump in data has been largely driven by streaming video sites such as Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). Video currently accounts for 35 percent of all mobile traffic today and is expected to be more than 55 percent by 2019.
The jump in smartphone ownership will also force businesses to ensure their policies around BYOD and network capacity. According to TrackVia, 80 percent of employees are already using their own devices for work and two out of three companies are expected to adopt some form of BYOD solution by 2017. Companies including Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and VMware (NYSE:VMW) already operate BYOD workplaces.
Shares in Ericsson ended the week at $ 12.53 and are up more than 24 percent this year.