Ericsson: China set to dominate LTE data

Infrastructure giant Ericsson forecasts total mobile data traffic growth will increase ten-fold between now and 2019, on the back of smartphone subscription growth that is expected to grow at four times the rate of total mobile subscriptions, and total global LTE subscriptions that are forecasted to grow 13-fold.

The company presented the findings from its latest Mobility Report at an event in central London Tuesday. Key themes of the report were the rapid growth in global smartphone penetration and LTE network coverage and the consequent jump in global mobile data traffic.

In 2013 global LTE subscriptions stood at around 200 million, according to Ericsson, and that number is forecasted to hit 2.6 billion. China is expected to account for an increasing proportion of global LTE subscriptions, with is total forecasted to hit 700 million by 2019, meaning it will account for over a quarter of the global total.

Speaking exclusively to, Patrik Cerwall, the head of strategic marketing and intelligence at Ericsson, added further colour on China’s increasing dominance of the global mobile market. “The total amount of data generated by LTE subscriptions in China in 2019 will be greater than the global total is today,” he said. Cerwall also highlighted that, in common with many other technologies, the appetite for bandwidth is unlikely to ever be satisfied, with video streaming continuing to dominate mobile data use.

The 9th annual LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 15th-17th September 2014 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

One of the major drivers behind China’s mobile growth has been the rapid uptake of smartphones by the country over the past couple of years. With much of the world’s technology manufacture happening on their doorstep, Chinese consumers have been quick to snap up cheap Android smartphones that cost little more, if at all, than the feature phone equivalent. Chinese smartphone penetration is already up at the same levels as many western markets so, given its massive population, it’s safe to assume China will continue to dominate the global mobile market for the foreseeable future.

One comment

  1. Avatar Askar Sheibani 04/06/2014 @ 4:42 pm

    The Ericsson report indicates great movement for the telecoms industry, but operators must be able to support this with a rock solid 2G and 3G infrastructure, if they are to keep customers happy, connected and subscribing. Many communities, particularly in rural areas, rely on these networks, resulting in social exclusion as breakages and faults become increasingly common.

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