Myanmar added more mobile subscriptions than any other country in the world except India and China, according to Ericsson’s Q1 2015 Mobility Report.
The June report said Myanmar augmented its mobile subscriptions count by 5 million on net over the past quarter.
This figure puts Myanmar in third place for net additions behind India, whose base increased by 26 million, and China, which upped its subscriptions tally by 8 million in Q1.
At the end of the first quarter of this year, the world had about 7.2 billion mobile subscriptions – a figure close to the same size as the global population.
The past year has seen massive growth in Myanmar’s burgeoning telecoms market. Foreign entrants Ooredoo Myanmar and Telenor Myanmar reported in the spring they had racked up 3.3 million and 6.4 million subscribers, respectively. Meanwhile, state-owned incumbent Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) recently told The Myanmar Times its active subscriber base stood at about 13 million.
Meanwhile, Ericsson also sees smartphones in the region’s future.
“Currently in Southeast Asia and Oceania 25 percent of handsets are smartphones,” said Sam Saba, head of Ericsson Southeast Asia and Oceania in a press release.
“We predict that by 2020, smartphone subscriptions will grow three times to almost 800 million in the region, while LTE subscriptions will constitute almost 25pc of regional mobile subscriptions and 70pc will be 3G by then.”