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Forecast by Ericsson sees global smartphones tripling to 5.6 bln by 2019, traffic up 10-fold

STOCKHOLM – The number of smartphones is forecast to triple to 5.6 billion globally by 2019, accounting for more than 60 per cent of cellphones.

Sweden’s Ericsson AB, the world’s largest maker of telecommunications networks, says in a report Monday it expects smartphone traffic to grow tenfold in the next six years, with service providers increasing high-speed networks to deal with the surge. Total mobile subscriptions are predicted to reach 9.3 billion by 2019.

Ericsson says annual smartphone traffic would hit 10 billion gigabytes by 2019, with videos representing some 50 per cent of all data traffic. Social networking and web services would account for 10 per cent each.

It said smartphones currently make up some 55 per cent of all cellphones sold but represent only 25-30 per cent of all mobile subscriptions.