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LTE, smartphone uptake drives video traffic growth: Ericsson

The new edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report reveals that mobile-data traffic will continue to grow significantly in the coming years, a trend driven primarily by video. Overall data traffic is expected to grow 12-fold by the end of 2018....


June 12, 2013  


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The new edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report reveals that mobile-data traffic will continue to grow significantly in the coming years, a trend driven primarily by video. Overall data traffic is expected to grow 12-fold by the end of 2018. Increasing usage is driven by continual growth in the amount of content available as well as the improved network speeds that come with HSPA and LTE development.

 “LTE services will be available to about 60% of the world’s population in 2018,” said Douglas Gilstrap, senior vice president and head of strategy at Ericsson. “We expect LTE subscriptions to exceed 1 billion in 2017, driven by more capable devices and demand for data-intensive services such as video. Owing to the build out of WCDMA/HSPA, network speeds have improved, and so has the user experience.”

According to the report, video makes up the largest segment of data traffic in networks, and it is expected to grow around 60% annually up until the end of 2018. Video consumption is on average 2.6GB per subscription per month in some networks.

While video is popular, users do not necessarily tend to spend the most time on data-heavy applications. Consumers spend more time on social networking: an average of up to 85 minutes per day in some networks.

Smartphones accounted for around half of all mobile-phone sales in Q1 2013, compared with roughly 40% for the whole of 2012. The number of total mobile subscriptions grew by 8% globally year-on-year by Q1 2013.

Of those, WCDMA/HSPA added around 60 million subscriptions, GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions grew by roughly 30 million, and LTE added around 20 million new subscriptions. Mobile-broadband subscriptions grew even faster over this period (at a rate of 45% year-on-year), reaching around 1.7 billion.