IoT Will Outgrow Mobile Phones

According to Ericsson’s Mobility Report, the IoT will overtake mobile phones as the world’s largest category of connected device by 2018. Ericsson defines a connected device as a physical object with an IP stack enabling two-way communication over a network interface.

Between 2015 and 2021, Ericsson forecasts 23% annual growth for IoT devices. Of the 28 billion total connected devices in the world by 2021, 16 billion will be IoT products. Cellular IoT will grow the fastest.

Western Europe will lead the world in IoT takeup, with 400% growth predicted to 2021. This will mainly by driven by regulatory requirements, in applications such as intelligent utility meters, and growing demand for connected cars.

Smartphone subscriptions will pass feature phones in Q3 this year, says Ericsson. By 2021, subscriptions will almost double: from 3.4 billion to 6.3 billion. The Mobility Report also shows that there are now 5 billion unique mobile subscribers in the world today.

Other highlights are also mentioned in the report. These include a shift in teenage viewing habits (cellular data for smartphone video rose 127% in 15 months between 2014 and 2015, while the time spent watching TV screens fell 50% from 2011 – 2015); and tracked growth of mobile data traffic in the developing world.