The latest Ericsson Mobility Report has revealed that data traffic doubled between Q3 2011 and Q3 2012, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 50 percent between 2012 and 2018, driven mainly by video.
Ericsson’s research shows that online video is the biggest contributor to mobile traffic volumes, constituting 25 percent of total smartphone traffic and 40 percent of total tablet traffic. This puts new requirements on networks to cater for quality anywhere and anytime.
Douglas Gilstrap, Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy at Ericsson, says: ‚”Expectations of mobile-network quality have been elevated by the availability of smartphones and tablets that have changed the way we use the internet. Mobility is becoming an increasingly significant part of our daily lives: we always have devices within arm’s reach, allowing us instant access to information, entertainment and social interaction.‚”
Total mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 6.6 billion by the end of 2012 and 9.3 billion by the end of 2018. These figures do not include machine-to-machine (M2M) subscriptions. China alone accounted for about 35 percent of net additions during Q3, with about 40 million additional subscriptions. Brazil (9 million), Indonesia (7 million), and the Philippines (5 million) followed in terms of net additions. Overall, global mobile penetration reached 91 percent in Q3 2012, and mobile subscriptions now total around 6.4 billion. Mobile subscriptions have grown by around 9 percent year-on-year and 2 percent quarter-on-quarter.
By mid-2012, LTE coverage was provided for an estimated 455 million people globally. Within five years, more than half the world’s population is expected to benefit from to LTE coverage.
LTE is the fastest-developing system in the history of mobile communications in terms of buildout and uptake. LTE is currently being deployed and built out in all regions, and total subscriptions will increase from around 55 million at the end of 2012 to an estimated 1.6 billion in 2018. WCDMA/HSPA networks currently provide coverage to more than half the world’s population and continue to grow faster than LTE in terms of absolute numbers, adding 65 million subscriptions in Q3 2012 compared with 13 million for LTE.
* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA