MENA region to reach 970 million mobile subscriptions by 2020

LTE subscriptions are on the rise and are expected to triple in 2015, says Ericsson
MENA region to reach 970 million mobile subscripti, Research, Data


Middle East and North East Africa data traffic will grow 14 times between 2014 to 2020, as the latest Ericsson Mobility report for the Middle East and North East Africa (RMEA) reveals.

The region as a whole had around 680 million mobile subscriptions at the end of 2014. Between 2014 and 2020 it is forecasted that mobile subscriptions will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6%, amounting to 970 million.

The report also said that LTE subscriptions are on the rise and are expected to triple in 2015 alone, and surpass 210 million by 2020, equating to around 20% of all mobile subscriptions.

Smartphone subscriptions will increase across all the markets, as inexpensive smartphones become abundant and mobile broadband rollouts accelerate. The research said that 17% (125 million) of all mobile subscriptions were attributed to smartphones at the end of 2014. Of the 970 million mobile subscriptions predicted at the end of 2020, 40% will come from smartphones.

By 2020, the amount of data used monthly by each active smartphone will increase substantially from an average of 0.8GB in 2014 to approximately 5GB.

Data intensive utility, communication and entertainment services are commonly used by smartphone owners, says the report. Mobile video traffic will continue to grow driven by video streaming services and increasing prevalence of video in social media.

According to Ericsson, today, 40% of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over the company’s networks.

Rafiah Ibrahim, president at Ericsson, Region Middle East and East Africa said: “The ICT transformation has been phenomenal across the region. Such transformation is far beyond simple technological innovation, it calls us to reshape existing business models and infrastructure environments. In the future, it will address completely new needs arising from technological and consumer behavioral changes. Just imagine the possibilities.”

Ibrahim added: “Ericsson’s mobility report provides a glimpse into the future of mobility, allowing us to capture the opportunities made possible by the Networked Society, where everything that can be connected will be connected.”

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