Ericsson forecasts tenfold increase in mobile data traffic by 2016

A new report from Swedish vendor Ericsson predicts that mobile data traffic will increase up to tenfold over the next five years, and that there will be nearly 5 billion mobile broadband subscriptions by 2016. The report is based on measurements the company recorded over several years in live networks covering all regions of the world.

The past year has seen a 60% rise in mobile broadband subscriptions, and the total number is on course to hit 900 million by the end of the year. Similarly, mobile data traffic is expected to rise by 60% each year up to and including 2016. Smartphone traffic is set to increase threefold this year.

The increases in data consumption are due to the increased availability of smartphones and the subsequent spikes in the use of mobile broadband and applications, as well as a growing demand for video content. Meanwhile, traffic on ‘advanced smartphones’ will increase 12-fold by 2016, roughly equally traffic generated by mobile PCs.

Mobile broadband, new smartphone launches and applications uptake will continue to drive data consumption. At the same time, there is strong momentum for smartphone uptake in all regions. By 2016, around 60% of the world’s total mobile traffic will be generated by the roughly 30% of the world’s population living in urban areas with a density of more than 1,000 people per square kilometre.

Johan Wibergh, Head of Ericsson Business Unit Networks, says: “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. This report offers snapshots that, together, show how a growing number of people and businesses benefit from mobility, broadband and the cloud.”

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