The mobile industry is set for another milestone. According to the latest forecasts from Wireless Intelligence, total mobile connections in the world will cross 6 billion figure by the year’s end, which means that the industry will have added 1 billion connections in 16 months.
The total number of connections is set to be at 6.07 billion by the year’s end, with the 6 billion mark being reached in late November.
Asia-Pacific region is responsible for the bulk of the growth, with the region accounting for 50 percent of all connections by the end of the year. In Asia-Pacific, the growth is being spurred on by India and China, the two largest markets in the world. They are also set to hit 1 billion connections early next year.
Asia-Pacific will also be home to 6 of the 10 largest mobile markets in the world. These include:
- China (#1),
- India (#2),
- Indonesia (#4),
- Vietnam (#7),
- Japan (#8)
- and Pakistan (#9).
In other forecasts, Africa will take over the Americas as the second largest regional market. Eastern Europe will also overtake Western Europe in terms of new connections.
5 billion global connections were reached in July 2010, and they came 18 months after the 4 billion milestone in the last months of 2008. The global mobile penetration rate has now increased to 86%, it was 7 percent at the 5 billion mark and 60 percent at 4 billion.
Technology wise, GSM is set to dominate with it accounting for 73 percent of global connections. After GSM, WCDMA/HSPA (16 percent) and CDMA (9 percent) are the major technologies. The remaining 2% will be accounted for by technologies like LTE.
The WCDMA/HSPA technology has been gaining ground and was significant in the growth from 5 to 6 billion connections. GSM still remains the major player in emerging markets such as Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. However its global share was down from 78% to 73% (at the 5 billions connections point).