Global mobile subscribers predicted to increase to 5.6 billion by 2020


The forecast comes from GSMA Intelligence’s latest consumer research

The GSMA predicts the number of unique mobile subscriptions around the world will increase from 4.7 billion to 5.6 billion by 2020.

These predictions were based on the most recent consumer study conducted by GSMA Intelligence, the GSMA’s research branch. In 2015, over 50,000 individuals from 50 countries gave information about their mobile usage habits. The forecasted 5.6 billion figure represents 72 per cent of the forecasted global population.

From its research, the GSMA predicts the majority of new subscribers will come from developing markets like China or India. They are forecasted to account for 45 per cent of the increase over the next five years.

Markets like Europe, South Korea, Japan and Australia were identified as areas with limited future growth. GSMA Intelligence claims this is due high levels of mobile penetration in these areas. It added that these markets must look to technology like 5G, M2M and the Internet of Things to further growth.

GSMA chief strategy officer Hyunmi Yang said: “We are already seeing operators in highly penetrated developed markets seeking to offset slowing unique subscriber growth by evolving and broadening business models and investing in new network technologies, services and digital ecosystems.

“As new services continue to develop on mobile platforms, operators worldwide must ensure that they capitalise on the opportunities presented by the vast and growing ecosystem that nearly universal global mobile connectivity has created.”