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Mobile broadband hits 6.9 billion subscriptions in 2021, says Ericsson

THE number of mobile broadband subscriptions grew by six per cent in 2021 to hit 6.9 billion, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report.

According to the firm’s fourth-quarter 2021 update, mobile broadband now accounts for 85 per cent of all mobile subscriptions in the world.

It said, “The number of mobile broadband subscriptions grew by about 80 million in the quarter to reach 6.9 billion, a year-on-year increase of six per cent. Mobile broadband now accounts for 85 per cent of all mobile subscriptions.”

It added that global mobile subscription penetration grew by 104 per cent to hit 8.2 billion. It listed major additions in Q4 2021 as China which added five million subscriptions, followed by the United States with about four million, and Pakistan with about three million.

The firm said, “5G subscriptions grew by 98 million during the quarter, lifting the total to 660 million. Meanwhile, 200 communications service providers have launched commercial 5G services and at least 20 have launched 5G standalone networks.

“LTE subscriptions increased by 35 million to 4.7 billion, representing 57 per cent of all mobile subscriptions, while WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions declined by 51 million. GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions dropped by 52 million during the quarter, while other technologies decreased by about six million.

“The number of unique mobile subscribers is about six billion. The difference between the number of subscriptions and the number of subscribers is due to inactive subscriptions, multiple device ownership and/or optimisation of subscriptions for different types of calls.”

It added that subscription penetration had grown to 85 per cent in Africa.

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