The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts that there will be 550 million 5G subscriptions in 2022. North America will lead the way in uptake of 5G subscriptions, where a quarter of all mobile subscriptions are forecast to be for 5G in 2022.
Asia Pacific will be the second fastest growing region for 5G subscriptions, with 10 percent of all subscriptions being 5G in 2022.
This year, Ericsson has published 5 Regional Reports with the Global Mobility Report. The Sub-Saharan Africa Mobility Report reveals that while total mobile subscriptions penetration in the region is currently 85 percent, this number is expected to reach 105 percent by 2022 with over 1 billion mobile subscriptions. This makes Sub-Saharan Africa, the region with highest growth rate in mobile subscriptions globally.
From 2016 to 2022, Sub-Saharan Africa will dramatically shift from a region with a majority of GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions, to around 83 percent of all subscriptions on WCDMA/HSPA and LTE.
By the end of 2016, there will be 3.9 billion smartphone subscriptions globally. Almost 90 percent of these subscriptions will be registered on WCDMA/HSPA and LTE networks. By 2022, the number of smartphone subscriptions is forecast to reach 6.8 billion, with more than 95 percent of the subscriptions registered on WCDMA/HSPA, LTE and 5G networks. In Sub-Saharan Africa smartphones penetration will reach around 80 percent by 2022 while mobile subscriptions on smartphones will rise by 21 percent annually from 2016 to 2022.
The report also highlights the role Internet of Things plays in providing new means to deliver efficient, innovative solutions that meet socio-economic challenges and transform business models to unlock growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Across sub-Saharan Africa, the report projects cellular IoT connections growing from 11 million in 2016 to 75 million connections in 2022.
The latest Ericsson Mobility Report also forecasts that in 2022, there will be 8.9 billion mobile subscriptions, of which 90 percent will be for mobile broadband. At this point in time, there will be 6.1 billion unique subscribers.
As of Q3 2016, 84 million new mobile subscriptions were added during the quarter to reach a total of 7.5 billion, growing at around 3 percent year-on-year. India grew the most in terms of net additions during the quarter (+15 million), followed by China (+14 million), Indonesia (+6 million), Myanmar (+4 million) and the Philippines (+4 million). Mobile broadband subscriptions are growing by around 25 percent year-on-year, increasing by approximately 190 million in Q3 2016 alone. The total number of mobile broadband subscriptions is now around 4.1 billion.
Mobile data traffic continues to grow, driven both by increased smartphone subscriptions and a continued increase in average data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by more viewing of video content. In Q3 2016, data traffic grew around 10 percent quarter-on-quarter and 50 percent year-on-year.
A rise in access and viewing of video content is also a driver for mobile data traffic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Other drivers are wider network coverage, continued reduction in prices of both devices and services and a growing population with 57% of the current population under 15 years old.
Jean-Claude Geha, President of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa says: “Data traffic is forecast to grow by around 55 percent annually between 2016 and 2022 , that is a 13 times growth. This rapid growth is driving operators to explore methods of optimizing network capacity, one of which is complementing traffic via Wi-Fi networks – with traffic expected to rise 70% annually between 2016 and 2022.”
Further highlights from the Ericsson Mobility Report include:
Mobile video traffic is increasingly dominant: Mobile video traffic is forecast to grow by around 50 percent annually through 2022 to account for nearly 75 percent of all mobile data traffic. Social networking is the second biggest data traffic type after video, forecast to grow by 39 percent annually over the coming six years.
Live streaming joins social media: Consumers are increasingly using live video streaming apps to interact with friends, family and followers. Around one in five smartphone users in the US express an interest in live video broadcasting, with twice as many smartphone users in high growth markets like India, Indonesia, Brazil and Oman who are interested in such apps.
IoT in focus: Around 29 billion connected devices are forecast by 2022, of which around 18 billion will be related to IoT. Included in the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report is a deeper look into IoT, with three feature articles with different perspectives on IoT and its transformational potential. Two articles are co-written with operators that have built IoT solutions around their core assets, creating additional business value. The third article explores the cellular networks’ capabilities to support a realistic massive IoT use case scenario.
Why your first self-driving car ride will be in a robotaxi
Autonomous driving will take longer than we expect, and involve less ownership than the industry would like, writes Intel’s AMNON SHASHUA
As we all watch automakers and autonomous tech companies team up in various alliances, it’s natural to wonder about their significance and what the future will bring. Are we realizing that autonomous driving technology and its acceptance by society could take longer than expected? Is the cost of investing in such technology proving more than any single organization can sustain? Are these alliances driven by a need for regulation that will be accepted by governments and the public or for developing standards on which manufacturers can agree?
The answers are likely a bit of each, which makes it a timely opportunity to review the big picture and share our view of where Intel and Mobileye stand in this landscape.
Three Aspects to Auto-Tech-AI
There are three aspects to automotive-technology-artificial intelligence (auto-tech-AI) that are unfolding:
- Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS)
- Robotaxi ride-hailing as the future of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS)
- Series-production passenger car autonomy
With ADAS technologies, the driver remains in control while the system intervenes when necessary to prevent accidents. This is especially important as distracted driving grows unabated. Known as Levels 0-2 as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), ADAS promises to reduce the probability of an accident to infinitesimal levels. This critical phase of auto-tech-AI is well underway, with today’s penetration around 22%, a number expected to climb sharply to 75% by 2025.1
Meanwhile, the autonomous driving aspect of auto-tech-AI is coming in two phases: robotaxi MaaS and series-production passenger car autonomy. What has changed in the mindset of many companies, including much of the auto industry, is the realization that those two phases cannot proceed in parallel.
Series-production passenger car autonomy (SAE Levels 4-5) must wait until the robotaxi industry deploys and matures. This is due to three factors: cost, regulation and geographic scale. Getting all factors optimized simultaneously has proven too difficult to achieve in a single leap, and it is why many in the industry are contemplating the best path to achieve volume production. Many industry leaders are realizing it is possible to stagger the challenges if the deployment of fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) aims first at the robotaxi opportunity.
Cost: The cost of a self-driving system (SDS) with its cameras, radars, lidars and high-performance computing is in the tens of thousands of dollars and will remain so for the foreseeable future. This cost level is acceptable for a driverless ride-hailing service, but is simply too expensive for series-production passenger cars. The cost of SDS should be no more than a few thousand dollars – an order of magnitude lower than today’s costs – before such capability can find its way to series-production passenger cars.
Regulation: Regulation is an area that receives too little attention. Companies deep in the making of SDSs know that it is the stickiest issue. Beside the fact that laws for granting a license to drive are geared toward human drivers, there is the serious issue of how to balance safety and usefulness in a manner that is acceptable to society.
It will be easier to develop laws and regulations governing a fleet of robotaxis than for privately-owned vehicles. A fleet operator will receive a limited license per use case and per geographic region and will be subject to extensive reporting and back-office remote operation. In contrast, licensing such cars to private citizens will require a complete overhaul of the complex laws and regulations that currently govern vehicles and drivers.
The auto industry is gradually realising that autonomy must wait until regulation and technology reach equilibrium, and the best place to get this done is through the robotaxi phase.
Scale: The third factor, geographic scale, is mostly a challenge of creating high-definition maps with great detail and accuracy, and of keeping those maps continuously updated. The geographic scale is crucial for series-production driverless cars because they must necessarily operate “everywhere” to fulfil the promise of the self-driving revolution. Robotaxis can be confined to geofenced areas, which makes it possible to postpone the issue of scale until the maturity of the robotaxi industry.
When the factors of cost, regulation and scale are taken together, it is understandable why series-production passenger cars will not become possible until after the robotaxi phase.
As is increasingly apparent, the auto industry is gravitating towards greater emphasis on their Level 2 offerings. Enhanced ADAS – with drivers still in charge of the vehicle at all times – helps achieve many of the expected safety benefits of AVs without bumping into the regulatory, cost and scale challenges.
At the same time, automakers are solving for the regulatory, cost and scale challenges by embracing the emerging robotaxi MaaS industry. Once MaaS via robotaxi achieves traction and maturity, automakers will be ready for the next (and most transformative) phase of passenger car autonomy.
The Strategy for Autonomy
With all of this in mind, Intel and Mobileye are focused on the most efficient path to reach passenger car autonomy. It requires long-term planning, and for those who can sustain the large investments ahead, the rewards will be great. Our path forward relies on four focus areas:
- Continue at the forefront of ADAS development. Beyond the fact that ADAS is the core of life-saving technology, it allows us to validate the technological building blocks of autonomous vehicles via tens of new production programs a year with automakers that submit our technology to the most stringent safety testing. Our ADAS programs – more than 34 million vehicles on roads today – provide the financial “fuel” to sustain autonomous development activity for the long run.
- Design an SDS with a backbone of a camera-centric configuration. Building a robust system that can drive solely based on cameras allows us to pinpoint the critical safety segments for which we truly need redundancy from radars and lidars. This effort to avoid unnecessary over-engineering or “sensor overload” is key to keeping the cost low.
- Build on our Road Experience Management (REM)™ crowdsourced automatic high-definition map-making to address the scale issue. Through existing contracts with automakers, we at Mobileye expect to have more than 25 million cars sending road data by 2022.
- Tackle the regulatory issue through our Responsibility-Sensitive Safety (RSS) formal model of safe driving, which balances the usefulness and agility of the robotic driver with a safety model that complies with societal norms of careful driving.
At Intel and Mobileye, we are all-in on the global robotaxi opportunity. We are developing technology for the entire robotaxi experience – from hailing the ride on your phone, through powering the vehicle and monitoring the fleet. Our hands-on approach with as much of the process as possible enables us to maximize learnings from the robotaxi phase and be ready with the right solutions for automakers when the time is right for series-production passenger cars.
On the way, we will help our partners deliver on the life-saving safety revolution of ADAS. We are convinced this will be a powerful and historic example of the greatest value being realized on the journey.
Professor Amnon Shashua is senior vice president at Intel Corporation and president and chief executive officer of Mobileye, an Intel company.
Sea of Solitude represents mental health issues through gaming
It’s a game that provides a tasteful visual representation of mental health issues. BRYAN TURNER dives into the Sea of Solitude.
Disclaimer: This review is based on four hours of gameplay.
Sea of Solitude, the latest adventure game by Jo-Mei Games and EA Games, takes a sobering look at loneliness. It represents this loneliness visually, using light and dark environmental changes, as well as creatures players must encounter. The main character, Kay, must make it through the sea without finding herself trapped in a sea of loneliness. She meets fantastical creatures along her journey, and she must help them solve their challenges while keeping herself in a sane environment.
The game is systematic in the way it represents its important aspects. It starts with a striking visual art style and a soft storyline, which gives characters a chance to absorb the beauty of the game. As one gets a hang of the controls and used to the art style, the story kicks it up a few notches to reveal the harrowing backstories of the creatures that reside in the sea Kay must travel.
In particular, it features a creature that keeps flying away from Kay. This was frustrating because the previous chapter of the game presents a backstory for the creature that was not only devastating to the main character, but also to the player. Once Kay meets this creature, players must be ready to cry. It’s a brilliantly crafted story and hats off to Jo-Mei Games for being great storytellers.
Cornelia Geppert, CEO of Jo-Mei Games, told EA: “Sea of Solitude centres on the essence of loneliness and tugs on the heartstrings of its players by mirroring their own reality. It’s by far the most artistic and personal project I’ve ever created, written during a very emotional time in my life. Designing characters based on emotions was a deeply personal achievement for our team and we’re so excited for players to soon experience Kay’s powerful story of self-discovery and healing.”
Generally, I steer clear of games that are metaphors about mental health issues because they tend to be crass in how they address mental health. Sea of Solitude is quite different because of its level of relatability. Other games about mental health tend to be about a specific disorder that not many people experience, while loneliness is something that so many of us experience. Additionally, the representation of how loneliness affects Kay in the real world is sharp but tasteful. The combination of relatability and respectful representation is what makes the game’s story so brilliant.
Another great aspect of this game is the music scoring. It uses sound and the absence of sound very carefully to invoke the right feelings expected from players. The game wouldn’t be as good with the sound off and subtitles on, so future players are recommended to turn up the volume or put on headphones.
The game is long for an indie game, at around three or four hours of gameplay until the end is reached. Several sources say there is a hidden ending, so players can look out for that in a second playthrough.
The game’s story isn’t perfect, though. The eventual sameness of creature encounters is a little disappointing. This may be down to the expectation of being extremely devastated by all the stories of the creatures, especially when one is less than devastated by the subsequent stories. One of the most affecting creature stories was also presented at the beginning of the game, which set the bar very high for the rest of the creatures.
One creature, in particular, tries very hard to have the greatest emotional impact, but this comes across as blunt and dampens the meaning of what it was supposed to represent.
While I didn’t mind sharp representation, the perception of themes like bullying, estrangement, and suicidal thoughts may vary in appropriateness from player to player. Prospective players with existing painful mental health issues should consult gameplay videos, like the one below, before purchasing the game, to gauge appropriateness.
Overall, the game is incredible at connecting with what it is to be human and what it means to be lonely. Dealing with issues as physical creatures is a great touch, as the main character tends to resolve the problems of the creature by understanding what the problems mean.