Ericsson Report Shows Meeting of Mobile Traffic and Mobile Habits

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2013-06-04 Print this article Print

Ericsson, tapping into the knowledge of more than 100 network partners, has released its latest report on the state of mobility. While its last report highlighted the importance of speed in mobile broadband networks, this one puts its emphasis on traffic drivers and what network performance means in terms of what it calls App Coverage—the experience of end users when performing various mobile tasks. In a section called the "Signature of Humanity," Ericsson translated data traffic patterns in three major cities into the habits of our lives. Important to note is that, except where broken down by region, the figures in the report represent a global average. During the first quarter of 2013, 130 million mobile subscriptions were added worldwide—China, adding 30 million, was the greatest single contributor—bringing the total to more than 6.4 billion, or 90 percent global penetration. By the end of 2018, Ericsson expects mobile subscriptions to reach 9.1 billion and for 60 percent of the world's population to be covered by Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

  • Ericsson Report Shows Meeting of Mobile Traffic and Mobile Habits

    by Michelle Maisto
    1 - Ericsson Report Shows Meeting of Mobile Traffic and Mobile Habits
  • Mobile Subscription Additions, Q1 2013

    During the first quarter, 130 million new mobile subscriptions were created, bringing the global total to 6.4 billion. China led, adding 30 million, followed by the rest of Asia-Pacific and Africa.
    2 - Mobile Subscription Additions, Q1 2013
  • Global Subscription Penetration

    Subscriptions vary from subscribers, given that many subscribers have multiple subscriptions. The subscription penetration rate during the first quarter reached 103 percent in North America, 132 percent in Central and Eastern Europe, and 84 percent in China.
    3 - Global Subscription Penetration
  • Mobile Traffic by Region, 2018

    These pie charts compare mobile traffic shares by region in 2012 and as projected in 2018. In 2018, Latin America is expected to slightly increase its share and Western Europe and the Middle East show little change, but North America's piece of the pie will shrink, given the growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
    4 - Mobile Traffic by Region, 2018
  • Smartphone and PC Mobile Traffic, 2012 Versus 2018

    Mobile data traffic is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 50 percent, driven mostly by video. Mobile PCs generate approximately five times more traffic than smartphones, said Ericsson, accounting for the significant growth in gigabytes per user per month that it expects to see by 2018.
    5 - Smartphone and PC Mobile Traffic, 2012 Versus 2018
  • Traffic Drivers

    This chart includes 2G, 3G and 4G traffic; it doesn't account for WiFi offloaded traffic. Across all form factors, video is the major contributor of mobile data traffic.
    6 - Traffic Drivers
  • Minutes of Network Use (MoNU)

    While video is the main traffic driver, social networking is a major contributor to MoNU. The Ericsson report points out that Facebook isn't only used for social networking but for authentication for games and other apps.
    7 - Minutes of Network Use (MoNU)
  • Mobile Traffic Share by Application Type, 2012

    Mobile video currently accounts for 31 percent of traffic; by 2018, Ericsson expects that to grow to 46 percent. Web browsing, now 14 percent, is expected to fall to 10 percent, and file sharing will decrease to half of what it is now.
    8 - Mobile Traffic Share by Application Type, 2012
  • Data Penetration for Roaming Data Subscribers

    Business subscribers are less sensitive to roaming fees, explaining the high BlackBerry penetration in data roaming measurements, says the report.
    9 - Data Penetration for Roaming Data Subscribers
  • Local Mobile Broadband Subscribers

    When looked at locally, device penetration changes significantly, particularly with the iPhone making its presence felt.
    10 - Local Mobile Broadband Subscribers
  • Coverage by Technology

    The greatest anticipated network change is that LTE, currently covering 10 percent of subscribers, will cover 60 percent by 2018.
    11 - Coverage by Technology
  • What We Use and When

    This chart tracks the time when activity for each technology picks up. The study found that people turn to data first—checking emails and weather as soon as their eyes open—voice next, as calls are placed as they head to the office or arrive, and finally SMS, with text messages likely following up conversations initiated earlier via data or voice.
    12 - What We Use and When
  • Cultural Differences

    Ericsson tracked voice and data traffic between Dec. 10, 2012 and Jan. 8, 2013 in Hong Kong, London and New York. In Hong Kong, data traffic stayed active at night, while voice fell off. In London, both figures fell dramatically, suggesting a commuting population leaving London's financial district. New Yorkers, however, were found to maintain their levels of data and voice use, day and night.
    13 - Cultural Differences

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