For many people around the world, the mobile phone will be the only means of accessing the internet. According to Ericsson’s second Traffic and Market Report, released on June 5, 85 percent of the world’s population will have internet coverage via 3G by 2017 and there will be close to nine billion mobile subscriptions, compared to six billion by the end of 2011.
Machine-to-machine subscriptions will add to this figure.
Mobile broadband subscriptions, meanwhile, are forecast to reach five billion in 2017, compared to one billion by the end of 2011. In the report, Ericsson also predicts that by 2017 half of the world’s population will be covered by LTE/4G networks. Smartphone subscriptions will number around three billion in 2017 – compared to 700 million in 2011.