While the concept of 6-year-olds texting one another from across the playground or placing calls from kindergarten cubbies may sound like a hilarious premise, it’s also a stunning inevitability of our burgeoning mobile age.
The Swedish communications giant Ericsson has released a new mobility report claiming that, by the year 2020, 90 percent of the world’s population aged 6 years and over will have mobile phones. At that point, Ericsson estimates total smartphone subscriptions will number 6.1 billion; there are an estimated 2.7 million total smartphone subscribers today.
And the 6-year-olds in question aren’t merely inheritors of their parents’ defunct devices that exclusively run apps and games. The report’s executive editor, Patrick Cerwall, told Entrepreneur that the figure had been calculated by looking at active phones connected to a network.
The report was chock full of other eye-popping finds. The fastest areas of growth for new mobile subscriptions, Ericsson said, are India and China. Additionally, video is the largest and fastest-growing segment of mobile data traffic, comprising 45 to 55 percent of all 4G-dominated networks.
Finally, with the commercial deployment of 5G -- the next generation of mobile standards -- by 2020, subscriptions are bound to increase even faster, just as 4G caused a greater spike in subscriptions than 3G, Ericsson said.