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Ericsson Mobility Report: 86 percent of Latin America & Caribbean using smartphones by 2020

A cyclist is standing near a cliff looking at his mobile phone.
  • Smartphone subscriptions will more than double by 2020, reaching 603 million in Latin America & Caribbean
  • By 2020, 86 percent of all mobile data traffic will come from smartphones and 78 percent from LTE. Mobile data traffic to grow seven-fold 2014-2020 in Latam
  • 3G/4G share of Latam subscribers from 40% in 2014 to 90% in 2020

Findings from the latest edition of the Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) Mobility Report, published today, show that by 2020 advanced mobile technology will be commonplace around Latin America & Caribbean: smartphone subscriptions will more than double, reaching 603 million, and 86% of the Latam’s population will be using smartphones.

The report, a comprehensive update on mobile trends, shows that growth in mature markets comes from an increasing number of devices per individual. In developing regions, it comes from a swell of new subscribers as smartphones become more affordable; Latin America will add +330 million smartphone subscriptions until year-end 2020.

With the continued rise of smartphones comes an accelerated growth in data usage: smartphone data is predicted to increase seven-fold by 2020, when 86 percent of all mobile data traffic will come from smartphones. Average monthly data usage per smartphone in Latin America will increase from 0.8 GB in 2014 to 3 GB by 2020.

John Yazlle, head of Strategy Latin America & Caribbean, Ericsson, says: “This immense growth in advanced mobile technology and data usage, driven by a surge in mobile connectivity and smartphone uptake, will makes today’s big data revolution feel like the arrival of a floppy disk. We see the potential for mass-scale transformation, bringing a wealth of opportunities for telecom operators and others to capture new revenue streams. But it also requires greater focus on cost efficient delivery and openness to new business models to compete and remain effective.”

An expanding range of applications and business models coupled with falling modem costs are key factors driving the growth of connected devices. Added to this, new use cases are emerging for both short and long range applications, leading to even stronger growth of connected devices moving forward.

Each year until 2020, mobile video traffic will grow by a staggering 55 percent per year and will constitute around 60 percent of all mobile data traffic by the end of that period. Growth is largely driven by shifting user preferences towards video streaming services, and the increasing prevalence of video in online content including news, advertisements and social media.

When looking at data consumption in advanced mobile broadband markets, findings show a significant proportion of traffic is generated by a limited number of subscribers. These heavy data users represent 10 percent of total subscribers but generate 55 percent of total data traffic. Video is dominant among heavy users, who typically watch around one hour of video per day, which is 20 times more than the average user.

The Ericsson Mobility Report shares forecast data, analysis and insight into mobile traffic, subscriptions, and consumer behavior to provide insight into current traffic and market trends in today’s Networked Society.

Ericsson regularly performs traffic measurements in over 100 live networks in all major regions of the world. Detailed measurements are made in a selected number of commercial WCDMA/HSPA and LTE networks with the purpose of discovering different traffic patterns.

Tool for customizing data

To accompany the Ericsson Mobility Report, Ericsson has created the Traffic Exploration Tool for creating customized graphs and tables using data from the report. The information can be filtered by region, subscription, technology, traffic, and device type.

NOTES TO EDITORS

For media kits and high-resolution photos, please visit www.ericsson.com/press-center

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Paola Torres, Local Communications
E-mail: paola.a.torres@ericsson.com

Ericsson is a world leader in communications technology and services with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Our organization consists of more than 111,000 experts who provide customers in 180 countries with innovative solutions and services. Together we are building a more connected future where anyone and any industry is empowered to reach their full potential. Net sales in 2016 were SEK 222.6 billion (USD 24.5 billion). The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on NASDAQ in New York. Read more on www.ericsson.com.

Ericsson has been present in Latin America since 1896, when the company established an agreement in Colombia and delivered equipment for the first time in the region. In the early 1900s, Ericsson increased its presence in Latin America by signing commercial deals in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Today, Ericsson is present in 56 countries within South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, which combined count the region as one of the few with complete Ericsson installations, including a Production Unit, R&D Center and Training Center. Ericsson is the market leading telecom supplier, with over 40% market share in Latin America and more than 100 telecom service contracts in the region.