Feature Article

June 03, 2013

LTE and Video Drives Mobile Traffic Growth According to Ericsson Mobility Report

Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report is out. This time around it shows that smartphones and the adoption of LTE continue to drive video streaming and traffic. There has been a significant increase in mobile traffic.

In November 2012’s report, Ericsson stated that data traffic doubled between 2011 and 2012. They saw expected annual growth rates of around 50 percent between 2012 and 2018. This report shows that due to the expansion of mobile technology, mobile data traffic will grow more than expected.

According to the latest Mobility Report, we could be looking at about ten times more mobile traffic by 2018. The report shows that if this happens to be the case then the mobile carriers who do not have enough spectrum resources available will definitely feel the pressure.

Last year global smartphone subscriptions hit the 1.2 billion mark. Ericsson predicts that we could be looking at four times the number of smartphone users by the end of 2018. That means that the 4.5 billion mark could be reached in five years.

There are a couple of factors driving the mobile traffic. The adoption of LTE networks, 3G’s High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) protocol and steadily improving speeds have all contributed to the growth in mobile traffic. In the timeframe between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013 the report found that on a yearly basis, video traffic is growing by 60 percent. It would appear that social media and people watching videos on their smartphones have a lot to do with this.

Douglas Gilstrap, senior vice president and head of strategy for Ericsson said, "LTE services will be available to about 60 percent of the world's population in 2018. 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."

The numbers are already high. YouTube accounted for 72 hours of video uploads per minute. There were four billion hours watched each month. These were viewed through a combination of smartphones, tablets and eBooks. This makes video the fastest growing segment in mobile data traffic.

Companies like NetFlix and YouTube are making more videos available to mobile devices. As data speeds increase it seems that more people are taking advantage, or maybe it is that they are just getting less patient and cannot wait to watch a video.

Either way, there is no denying that video traffic is growing by 60 percent on a yearly basis. By the year 2017 roughly about 60 percent of the world will have LTE speeds available Video traffic will definitely continue to grow.

If you would like to read all of the details of the Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report or any of the previous reports you can do so by going to Ericsson’s report link.

Edited by Alice Koganova

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