The Global Mobile Market - Industry Statistics and Trends


In 2019 the mobile industry continues to evolve and is moving very fast, especially in terms of mobile technologies and infrastructure developments.

Despite the industry hype and discussion surrounding 5G - there is also still a lot of growth ahead for LTE 4G infrastructure deployment. In 2019 4G still only accounts for around 50% mobile technology market share globally and is required for the impending transition to 5G.

4G LTE is also expected to carry most of the mobile traffic for at least the next decade - alongside a slow transition to 5G. Eventually, however, it will be 5G which will be required to meet the growing demands of the mobile sector – especially with the escalating developments in IoT and M2M.

Overall mobile subscriber growth will continue to come from the developing markets with China and India in particular leading this growth, albeit at a slower level than in recent years. Some of the large developed markets are also still experiencing solid growth, with the USA for example remaining strong. AT&T continues its dominance as one the most successful operators worldwide.

The emerging markets are slowly gaining traction in terms of mobile broadband penetration, reaching over 60% while the developed markets have well and truly surpassed 100%.

This BuddeComm report provides useful information and statistics on the current global mobile market including subscriber statistics for both mobile and mobile broadband. It provides global statistics on mobile revenue and CAPEX, mobile data and the leading operators. It discusses key trends influencing the sector, supported by country case studies. For further information on 4G or 5G, see separate reports: BuddeComm Intelligence Report - 4G LTE and WiFi - Global Trends and Statistics; BuddeComm Intelligence Report - 5G Global Trends and Leading Regional Countries.

Key developments:

  • Mobile penetration continues to vary widely throughout the world in 2019.
  • There are a large number of multiple mobile device users globally.
  • It is Asia which is expected to drive future growth in the mobile sector and it already accounts for the most mobile subscribers worldwide.
  • While 4G LTE has a good penetration in many markets of the world; there are some developing countries where there is still a mix of 2G and 3G networks in use, especially in more rural and poorer districts.
  • Low cost affordable handsets and second-hand devices are also popular in the emerging markets.

Table of Contents

  • Global mobile market analysis – 2019

    • Introduction
    • Global mobile subscriptions
      • Smart phone shipments in decline
  • Mobile economy

    • Mobile money taking off
      • Case study: Mobile money in Nigeria
    • Mobile data traffic
    • Fibre is critical
      • Fibre broadband will be needed for 5G
  • Global mobile technologies

    • Global mobile technology market share
  • Global mobile broadband

    • Mobile broadband subscriptions
    • Regional mobile broadband penetration
  • Financial insights

    • Global mobile CAPEX
    • Global mobile revenue
  • Leading global operators

  • Related reports

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Global – unique mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2019
  • Table 2 – Regional - mobile subscriptions – 2014 – 2019
  • Table 3 – Global – smart phone shipments – 2016 – 2019
  • Table 4 – Nigeria - m-money transactions and value – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 5 – Nigeria - M-money inter-scheme transactions and value – 2017 – 2019
  • Table 6 – Global – market share of mobile technologies – 2018
  • Table 7 – Global – active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 8 – Mobile broadband penetration – developed versus developing markets - 2014 – 2018
  • Table 9 – Regional – mobile broadband penetration – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 10 - Regional – active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 11 – Global – overall telecoms CAPEX – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 12 – Global - mobile revenue – 2014 – 2020
  • Table 13 – Global - Top 10 public telecoms operators by revenue – 2018
  • Table 14 – AT&T wireless subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 15 – Total operator revenues by key regions – 2017; 2025

Related Reports

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Licence Information

Focus Report Profile


Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)

Number of pages 38

Status Current

Last updated 31 Jul 2019
Update History

Lead Analyst: Kylie Wansink

Contributing Analyst:

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