Mobile subscriptions in the Middle East and Africa region will grow from 1.2 billion in 2013 to 1.9 billion in 2019, according to a report.
Mobile penetration in the Middle East alone currently stands at 107 per cent, with 365 million mobile subscriptions, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report.
By 2019, 50 per cent of handset subscriptions in the Middle East and Africa will be for smartphones, which will drive data traffic growth.
Teemu Salmi, vice president and head of operations, Ericsson Middle East and North East Africa Region, said: “There is phenomenal growth in the MEA region as the development of networks, economic growth and opportunities create more connectivity potential.
“Operators across the Middle East must be aware of the predicted increase in smartphone use, in order to create sustainable networks,” added Salmi.
Globally, the expected number of mobile subscriptions will exceed the world’s population. Mobile subscriptions have grown by seven per cent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014 with 120 million net additions.
The report also revealed that by 2016, the number of global smartphone subscriptions is expected to reach 5.6 billion. In Europe, smartphone subscriptions will reach 765 million in 2019.
Mobile broadband subscriptions will also continue to grow, reaching 7.6 billion by the end of 2019, states the report.