Smartphone subscriptions near 50m

Smartphone subscriptions near 50m

The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts that Thailand's smartphone subscriptions will surpass those for basic phones this year.
The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts that Thailand's smartphone subscriptions will surpass those for basic phones this year.

Thailand's smartphone subscriptions will surpass fixed-line telephone subscriptions in 2016, says an Ericsson report.

Thailand was one of the top 10 countries globally for net mobile subscription additions in the first quarter of 2016.

Smartphone subscriptions in Thailand are estimated to approach 50 million by the end of the year. Almost half of all subscribers access social networks, instant messaging and online videos on a daily basis.

The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report reveals that the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to overtake mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices by 2018.

During 2015-21, the number of IoT-connected devices globally is expected to grow by 23% annually, with cellular IoT forecast to see the highest growth rate. Of the 28 billion total devices that will be connected by 2021, close to 16 billion will be IoT devices.

"We are witnessing IoT growing at a rapid pace as device costs get more competitive and groundbreaking applications emerge," Camilla Vautier, country head of Ericsson Thailand, said in a press release.

"IoT is coming to life within many industries. Fourth generation (4G) is here now and with it, many industries have the opportunity to leverage digital technologies to innovate their businesses and provide customers with amazing experiences."

Ms Vautier said smartphone subscriptions in Thailand are expected to continue to increase and are forecast to surpass those for basic phones this year.

By 2021, smartphone subscriptions will double from close to 40 million in 2015 to around 80 million.

Globally, almost 80% of all mobile phones sold in the first quarter of this year were smartphones, compared to around 75% in the last quarter of 2015.

Ms Vautier also said smartphone subscriptions in Southeast Asia and Oceania are anticipated to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 15% until 2021.

"The rise of mobile broadband is attributed to a number of factors, including the affordability of devices, as well as the increasing popularity of data-intensive apps, such as video," she said.

Consumers have shifted attention from voice coverage to app coverage. Voice now constitutes less than 5% of mobile traffic and while excellent voice coverage is a key factor, consumers want application coverage and performance.

The report also notes that mobile subscriptions in the region will grow annually at about 4% between 2015 and 2021, reaching 1.2 billion by the end of 2021.

In 2016, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia and Singapore are expected to have more than 100% subscription penetration for mobile broadband.

In addition, the region has witnessed a growth in middle-income households that will drive demand for high-speed broadband services in residential areas, particularly in emerging markets such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Fixed-broadband subscriptions for Thai households and small and medium-sized enterprises reached almost 30% penetration in 2015 and are expected to increase to around 40% in 2021.

The report also said that 4G LTE subscriptions in the region will continue to grow and are expected to reach 100 million this year.

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