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Over two-thirds of the world will have a smartphone by 2020

We all know that the number of smartphones in the world is increasing rapidly, but Ericsson has put a figure on exactly how many handsets will be around come the year 2020.

In the firm's latest Mobility Report, Ericsson estimates that there will be 6.1 billion smartphone subscriptions active at the end of the decade. In other words, the number will be starting to close fast on the total population of the world.

That's way more than double the current number of smartphone subscribers, at least as measured in 2014, which was 2.6 billion. Note that this is numbers of smartphones, not mobile or feature phones, the total of which will be 9.2 billion come the year 2020.

As Reuters reports, the company observed: “Advanced mobile technology will be globally ubiquitous by 2020 with 70 per cent of people using smartphones and 90 per cent covered by mobile broadband networks.”

Ericsson's report further predicted that monthly data traffic per smartphone will increase fivefold over the next five years, from 1050MB per month to 4900MB per month. Naturally video will make up an increasing proportion of that traffic, and will represent 60 per cent of all mobile data by the end of the decade.

Data traffic from mobile PCs will also increase massively, though not quite as much as it will merely quadruple from 4200MB per month to 17,300MB per month.

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