Triangle firms such as Lenovo, Appia and Tekelec, which is now part of Oracle, as well as various other mobile data technology firms, app developers and mobile game creators can find a lot of good news in a new study from Ericsson about wireless trends. Suffice it to say, mobile is a target rich environment.

A new Ericsson Mobility report includes some strong forecasts for growth in numerous areas, but especially in smartphone sales and data traffic.

The Triangle connections: More smartphones is good news for app storefront developer Appia. Lenovo is stepping up its global smartphone and mobile device efforts. And Tekelec is a global leader in mobile data management. A host of other firms are playing in the data space, too. 

Some highlights of the report:

  • The number of smartphones is forecast to triple to 5.6 billion globally by 2019.
  • By that time, smartphones will make up more than 60 percent of cellphones.
  • Total mobile subscriptions are predicted to reach 9.3 billion by 2019.
  • Other mobile device (laptops, tablets) growth will remain steady, increasing from 300 million this year to 800 million by 2019.
  • Meanwhile, smartphone traffic will grow even faster – at 10 times the current numbers over toe coming six years.

The world’s largest manufacturer of mobile communications equipment forecasts that annual smartphone traffic would hit 10 billion gigabytes by 2019, with videos representing some 50 percent of all data traffic.

Social networking and web services would account for 10 percent each.

The Ericsson report also noted that smartphones currently make up some 55 percent of all cellphones sold but represent only 25-30 percent of all mobile subscriptions.

Further, Ericsson forecast the market for wireless equipment will keep expanding 3 percent or more annually for the next few years as phone carriers gear up to handle increasing demand.

Ericsson said the network-gear market will grow an average of 3 percent to 5 percent through 2016, extending its earlier forecast for that pace through 2015. The market for related services will grow 5 percent to 7 percent a year, Stockholm-based Ericsson said.

Ericsson is competing against Nokia Oyj and China’s Huawei Technologies Co. as carriers expand and upgrade their networks amid rising demand for mobile video, music and data services. While revenue in the third quarter declined in North America and Japan as large coverage projects peaked, the European market is starting to shrug off effects of the financial crisis and carriers such as Vodafone Group ramp up spending.

(The AP and Bloomberg contributed to this report.)