Mobile data traffic is to grow ten fold by 2016, adding to the data strain for many mobile networks
In its report, Ericsson said mobile data traffic will grow 10-fold between 2011 and 2016, driven mainly by video.
It pointed to the fact that mobile broadband subscriptions grew by 60 percent in one year and are expected to grow from 900 million in 2011 to almost 5 billion in 2016.
By 2016, users living on less than one percent of the Earth’s total land area are set to generate around 60 percent of mobile traffic. The report is based on measurements the company recorded over several years in live networks covering all regions of the world.
“Ericsson performs a broad range of measurements in order to monitor the pulse of the Networked Society – measurements that we use to efficiently design our products and plan networks,” said Johan Wibergh, head of Ericsson Business Unit Network. “This report offers snapshots that, together, show how a growing number of people and businesses benefit from mobility, broadband and the cloud.”
According to the report, mobile broadband subscriptions will reach almost 5 billion in 2016, up from the expected 900 million by the end of 2011. That would represent 60 percent year-on-year growth, at the same time as the data consumed by smartphone users is surging. In addition, total smartphone traffic is expected to triple during 2011. Across all devices, Internet access will continue to drive mobile traffic development and mobile data traffic is expected to grow by nearly 60 percent per year between 2011 and 2016, mainly driven by video.
By 2016 more than 30 percent of the world’s population will live in metropolitan and urban areas with a density of more than 1,000 people per square kilometre. The report noted that while these areas represent less than 1 percent of the Earth’s total land area, they are set to generate around 60 percent of total mobile traffic.
Mobile broadband, new smartphone launches and applications uptake will continue to drive data consumption, the report predicted. At the same time, there is strong momentum for smartphone uptake in all regions.
Ericsson said it expects traffic generated by advanced smartphones to increase 12-fold to roughly equal mobile PC-generated traffic by 2016.
The company noted that Ericsson’s presence in more than 180 countries, where it supports more than 1,000 networks, enables it to measure mobile voice and data volumes. The result is a representative base for calculating world total mobile traffic in 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.