Mobile broadband subscriptions top 2.4 billion as data traffic rises 60%

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Global mobile broadband subscriptions reached 2.4 billion in the second quarter of 2014 as data traffic grew 60 percent year-on-year.

According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, 140 million mobile broadband subscriptions were added during the second quarter alone, reflecting a 35 percent increase.

Total mobile subscriptions hit 6.8 billion worldwide, with the majority of net adds coming from China, with 12 million new subscriptions. 

Western Europe added three million, while Central and Eastern Europe saw a net increase of eight million. 

However, Ericsson estimates the total global mobile subscriber base to be 4.6 billion, after taking into account customers with multiple subscriptions. 

There were 40 million new LTE subscriptions, while WCDMA and HSPA subscriptions grew by around 70 million. GSM-only subscriptions declined by 40 million, or one percent. 

Overall global mobile penetration was 94 percent in the second quarter. 

Meanwhile, data traffic grew by 60 percent y-o-y and by 10 sequentially, with a continuous increase in the average data volume per subscription. 

Ericsson estimates that 65 percent of the 300 million mobile phones sold in Q2 were smartphones, compared to around 55 percent during the same period last year. 

Smartphones now account for around 35 percent of all global mobile phone subscriptions, according the vendor's findings. 

In June, Ovum forecast that LTE subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion by 2019 – equivalent to 28 percent of global mobile subscriptions.

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