Mobile broadband subscriptions will reach almost 5 billion in 2016, up from the expected 900 million by the end of 2011.
A report from mobile phone manufacturer Ericsson says mobile data
traffic will grow 10-fold between 2011 and 2016, driven mainly by
video, noting 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
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 kilometer. 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. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network
infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia
solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.