At the end of March, there were 6.8 billion mobile connections around the globe, meaning there were more than 9.3 cellular links for every 10 people living on the planet, according to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report. That puts the world on pace to reach 100 percent mobile penetration in 2015, meaning the number of mobile connections will surpass the population.
That doesn’t mean we’ll see every man, woman in child in the world’s estimated population of 7.2 billion using a mobile phone. Mobile penetration is definitely increasing in developing markets – Africa and India led the way in new connections in Q1 – but the concentration of mobile devices is still centered on developed markets. Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America have already exceeded the 100 percent penetration mark.
In those regions there is a lot of duplication from individuals sporting connected tablets and laptops as well as mobile phones. There’s also a small but growing number of objects in the internet of things connected to the cellular networks (Ericsson estimates about 200 million), from cars to shipping containers to dog collars.
But achieving 100 percent penetration is no small feat, and it will only grow from there. Ericsson projects that total global cellular connections will increase to 9.2 billion in 2019.