06/03/2014 03:54 EDT | Updated 08/03/2014 05:59 EDT

Mobile subscriptions to exceed global population in 2015

By next year there will be more mobile subscriptions globally than there are people, according to a new report by Ericsson Mobile.

Mobile subscriptions have grown by seven per cent in the first quarter of 2014 to 7.14 billion, compared with the same time last year. In the first three months of this year, there were 120 million new mobile subscriptions.

Next year, the report says, there will be 7.59 billion total cellphone subscriptions, exceeding the world's expected population by 300 million. By 2019, it's expected there will be 9.2 billion mobile subscriptions.

The report includes subscriptions for cellphones and smartphones, as well as subscriptions for mobile PCs and tablets. This year, there are 339 million broadband data subscriptions. That's expected to double in the next five years to 685 million in 2019.

The total number of subscriptions has grown in recent years as many people in the developed world have more than one device with a mobile subscription.

Another trend highlighted by the report is the shift toward smartphones and away from more basic cellphones. By 2016, there will be more smartphones than so-called feature phones, particularly in Asia.

In the first three months of this year, 65 per cent of all phones sold were smartphones.