You may just be getting comfortable with a 4G smartphone, but at this point you'd also better start thinking about a new-gen 5G unit, because they're on the drawing boards.
Actually, the next generation of mobile IT is a few years away, because the wireless industry is still trying to reach agreement on standards, device makers are in the early design phase, and regulators are still discussing spectrum assignments. Yet that's not stopping key industry movers from speculating about how the market will look years from now.
Ericsson's latest Mobility Report, released Nov. 15, boldly forecast that 5G subscriptions will reach more than half a billion by 2022, and that North America will lead the way in this adoption.
The company and a number of industry analysts believe the emergence of 5G will further accelerate the digital transformation in many industries enabling new use cases in areas such as automation, the IoT and big data.
It's a safe stance, to be sure. More power in any device will enable more capability, but 5G is said to possess unprecedented horsepower.
The report contends that both IoT adoption and mobile data traffic will continue to grow, driven by increased connectivity and mobile video consumption. In addition, the explosion in live streaming and video traffic will become dominant across all devices, especially as consumers increasingly use live video streaming apps to interact with friends, family and followers.
Other key findings in the Ericsson report include:
--5G subscription explosion: 25 percent of all subscriptions will be 5G in North America in 2022, representing the highest market penetration in the world.
--Consumers favor video broadcasting: Social networking is currently the second biggest data traffic type on smartphones, after video. Around one in five smartphone users in the U.S. express an interest in live video broadcasting.
--Mobile is multiplying: Mobile broadband will account for 90 percent of all subscriptions by 2022.
--IoT in focus: About 29 billion connected devices are forecast to be in use by 2022, of which around 18 billion will be related to the IoT.
--Video traffic is on the rise: Mobile video traffic is forecast to grow by around 50 percent annually through 2022 to account for nearly 75 percent of all mobile data traffic.
--Monthly mobile data surge: By 2022, monthly mobile data traffic per active smartphone in North America will reach 25 GB.
To view the entire report, go here.