Ericsson: IoT, video to drive Latam mobile subscriptions to 850mn

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Latin America will see a 15% increase in mobile subscriptions from 740mn in 2015 to 850mn in 2021, driven by burgeoning smartphone and video traffic volumes, according to Ericsson's latest mobility report.

The report indicates mobile traffic will increase from 0.5 to 3.5 ExaBytes/month in Latin America over the six-year period, over 90% of which will come from smartphones.

In 2015, smartphones will account for 75% of Latin America's handset sales compared to 65% last year, the report says, adding smartphone subscriptions will reach 640mn by 2021 compared to 370mn in 2015.

Data traffic per active smartphone in the region will also rise to 6GB/month in 2021 compared to 1.2GB this year.

Diana Moya, Latin America director with Ericsson's Consumer Lab research unit, told BNamericas that while smartphone data consumption will remain far below levels in Europe in 2021 (18GB and 22GB in the US), the trend is the same.

On networks 50-70% of traffic is video and of that amount 10-20% is video streaming site Netflix. According to Moya, 60% of time spent online by youths (16-19 years) is spent watching videos.


According to the report, the move to 5G will also be a major driver of traffic, with some 150mn 5G subscriptions expected worldwide in 2021.

The main adopters of 5G will be South Korea, Japan, China and the US. 5G will connect new types of devices enabling use cases for the Internet of Things.

The most used apps in Latin America are WhatsApp, YouTube, Chrome, Facebook and Gmail

Moya said that 5G will impact industries such as transport using analytics to boost efficiency.

According to Moya, the use of public transport could drop by 15% through better efficiency, contributing to the environment.

In terms of LTE, 2015 is expected to reach 1bn subscribers globally with China accounting for the lion's share with 35%. By 2021, LTE subscriptions are forecast to reach 4.1bn

In Latin America LTE adoption is still low at only 5% compared to 60% in the US and 70% in Korea and Japan. However, LTE technology will reach 40% of subscriptions in Latin America by 2021 and 70% of the population compared to only 30% today, according to the report.

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