eRate-SmarttelefonAccording to a new study by GSMA Intelligence, by 2020, there will be 5.6 billion mobile subscriptions in the world, Authors of the study also say that the growth of unique subscribers is expected to decline during this period compared to previous years. This is because many markets are approaching saturation point. Growth will continue, however, within 5G, M2M and IoT.

4.7 billion unique mobile subscribers in 2015

GSMA Intelligence believes there were 4.7 billion unique mobile subscribers in the world by the end of 2015, equivalent to 63 percent of the world population.

Increased social and economic opportunities

“Over the next five years a further one billion people will benefit from social and economic opportunities made available by the mobile connection. We are now entering a new era that presents mobile operators with new opportunities and challenges, “says Hyunmi Yang, Chief Strategy Officer at the GSMA. “Operators in very slow to develop markets must compensate for the lack of growth by developing and expanding business models and investing in new network technologies, services and digital ecosystems,” he continues.

New markets in developing countries

“In Europe and in Asia Pacific (South Korea, Japan, Australia) markets have already reached extremely high levels of mobile penetration and future growth opportunities for new subscriptions are limited. This means that the vast majority of the estimated one billion new subscribers over the next five years will come from markets in developing countries”, say the authors of the study.

China and India’s Mobile Markets

According to the study, almost half of the increase of new subscribers over the next five years is expected to come from the world’s two largest mobile markets; China and India.

M2M will grow in developed markets

“M2M connections account for a growing share of the net growth in many developed markets. Development and deployment of 5G will provide further scope for operators when they get a more important role in various industries that are increasingly becoming part of the broader mobile ecosystem,” say the study’s authors.

GSMA, The Mobile Economy Study 2015 »

The number of mobile subscriptions in the world »