Skyrocketing use of lower-priced smart phones in Asia, increasing video streaming in North America and all around growth in mobile data usage will conspire to boost global mobile data traffic tenfold by 2019, according to a report released by Swedish network company Ericsson LM.
“In 2013, mobile traffic generated by mobile phones will exceed that generated by mobile PCs, tablets and routers,” the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. “There will be a tenfold growth in mobile data traffic between 2013 and 2019.”
Mobile traffic will reach 10 exabytes in the next six years according to the report.
The “largest and fastest” growing mobile data traffic segment, according to the report is video. Video is expected to increase by around 55 per cent annually up until the end of 2019, by which point it will account for more than 50 per cent of the global traffic.
Even today, it’s no longer the young early adopters streaming video on-demand. The survey shows that as many as 41 per cent of people aged between 65 and 69 stream video content over mobile and fixed networks at least on a weekly basis.
Mobile application usage and social sharing of content is also driving the surge in mobile traffic.
The report also said mobile subscribers are expected to number no less than 9.3 billion and mobile broadband subscription will reach two billion by the end of the year and likely quadruple to eight billion by 2019.
The majority of mobile broadband devices will continue to be smart phones. Smart phone subscription is expected to grow from today’s 1.9 billion to 5.6 billion in the next six years.
A lot of the people that will be accessing the Internet through the phones have never had Internet access before.
“Mobile adoption is growing at an extremely rapid pace,” said Douglas Gilstrap, senior vice-president of Ericsson. “It took more than five years for the world to get to the first billion smart phone subscribers but it will take less than two years to reach two billion.”
“The uptake is being driven by emerging markets such as China where lower-priced smart phones are available,” he said.
Ericsson officials also earlier said that increased mobile adoption will bring about the development of new services and applications which will tax existing networks and available spectrum. Ulf Ewaldsson, CTO of Ericsson, said governments have to speed up the release of commercial spectrum in order to meet the increasing subscriber demand for more bandwidth.
“These new goods and services that consumers are expecting will not happen if networks are not capable of handling the traffic,” he said.
According to the Ericsson report, Long Term Evolution (LTE) will cover more than 65 per cent of the world’s population and there will be about 2.6 billion LTE subscribers by 2019.
In North American 40 per cent of mobile subscribers are on High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) with nearly as many on Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). By 2019, 85 per cent of subscribers in the region will be on LTE, the report said.