The number of mobile broadband subscriptions is expected to double in 2022 to 8.3 billion globally. That’s up from 4.6 billion in Q1 2017.
Mobile broadband subscriptions — which include subscriptions for smartphones as well as tablets and other devices — grew 25 percent year over year, according to a new report by telecommunications equipment company Ericsson. Broadband subscriptions made up 60 percent of all mobile connections this quarter, up from 57 percent at the end of 2016. Total mobile subscriptions reached 7.6 billion, up 4 percent from last year.
The growth in smartphone mobile subscriptions has to do with access to cheaper smartphones and better wireless networks. Smartphones accounted for 80 percent of all mobile phones sold this quarter. Currently, 80 percent of the world’s population could potentially connect to a mobile broadband network; Ericsson anticipates a 95 percent coverage rate in 2022. Smartphone subscriptions surpassed those for basic phones globally for the first time last year, and 55 percent of mobile subscriptions are now for smartphones
Here’s a look at current and projected mobile subscriptions by technology and region:
The Middle East and Africa have the lowest rates of mobile broadband subscriptions. Those regions are also expected to see the biggest growth between now and 2022, thanks to a growing young population and more affordable smartphones.
Across the rest of the world, broadband subs currently make up 50 to 85 percent of all mobile subscriptions. Mature market subscription growth is driven by individuals connecting multiple devices.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.