STOCKHOLM: The Asia-Pacific region accounted for half the increase in global mobile subscriptions during the final three months of 2012, according to latest figures.

An update to the Ericsson Mobility Report, published by the telecoms firm, shows that global mobile penetration reached 89% in the quarter and there were 140m net additions, with 73m coming in Asia Pacific.

And within that, China was the single largest contributor, with 31m net additions, or 22% of the global total. There were also 11m net additions in India, 9m in Bangladesh and 8m in Indonesia.

Africa, too, saw significant growth, with 30m net additions overall, 20% of which originated in Nigeria.

The mature markets of Western Europe and North America recorded the smallest regional increases, at just 2m each.

Central and Eastern Europe reported 15m additions, or 10% of the total, followed by Latin America on 9m and the Middle East on 8m.

Around the world, mobile subscriptions grew some 9% year on year and 2% quarter on quarter. Subscriptions now total around 6.3bn worldwide, but the actual number of people owning a mobile is closer to 4.4bn, with many existing owners retaining several subscriptions.

While 40% of all mobile phones sold during 2012 were smartphones, only between 15% and 20% of the worldwide installed base of mobile phone subscriptions uses smartphones, indicating that there is plenty of scope for further uptake.

Ericsson's report also noted a significant rise in data traffic, which has doubled in just over a year, from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012.  There was a 28% increase in the third to fourth quarter of 2012 alone.

Data sourced from Ericsson; additional content by Warc staff