IoT connections to overtake phones by 2018

IoT connections to overtake phones by 2018

A report published this week by telecoms firm Ericsson claims that the Internet of Things (IoT) connections will overtake mobile phones by 2018.

The latest Mobility Report has revealed that IoT will trump mobile phones and become the biggest connected devices category within the next two years.

IoT on the up

Between now and 2021, the number of connected devices in use will grow at a rate of 23 percent per year, and cellular IoT will be fastest-growing area.

It expects there’ll be around 28 million devices connected to the internet by 2021, and 16 billion will be IoT products. As well as this, Western Europe will lead the way in the market.

The survey says the number of devices in countries like Britain, France and Germany will grow 400 percent by the end of the decade – driven by new regulations and a demand for connected cars.

Related: Are you an Internet of Things expert? Take our quiz and find out!

Smartphones live to die another day

While IoT is certainly a booming area of technology, that’s not to say the phone’s days are numbered. Smartphone subscriptions are also set to grow, doubling from 3.4 billion to 6.3 billion by 2021.

There are currently 5 billion mobile phone customers worldwide, respectively. That’s an amazing statistic considering the smartphone has only become mainstream over the last five or so years.

LTE connectivity is growing quickly as well. In Q1 of this year, there were 150 million new subscriptions for 4G, boosted by improved UIs and faster networks.

Other findings

A dramatic change in teen viewing habits has also been outlined in the report. Teenagers using cellular data to watch videos on their smartphones grew by 127 percent between 2014 and 2015.

The amount of teens using TVs has dropped by 50 percent, too, with an 85 percent increase in the amount of youngsters using smartphones/tablets to stream video. They’ve become the heaviest data consumers.

Rima Qureshi, senior vice president & chief strategy officer at Ericsson, said: “IoT is now accelerating as device costs fall and innovative applications emerge.

“From 2020, commercial deployment of 5G networks will provide additional capabilities that are critical for IoT, such as network slicing and the capacity to connect exponentially more devices than is possible today.”

Related: Cisco and Ericsson bet big on 5G and Internet of Things networks