Ericsson Mobility Report: LTE and Mobile Video Drive Growth

Ericsson released a new mobility report yesterday that suggests video traffic is growing on mobile networks by 60 percent annually and overall data traffic is predicted to grow 12-fold by the end of 2018. The report notes that global smartphone subscriptions reached 1.2 billion in 2012, a number expected to approach 4.5 billion by 2018. Additionally, Ericsson anticipates 60 percent of the world’s population will be covered by LTE in 2018.

“LTE services will be available to about 60 percent of the world’s population in 2018,” says Douglas Gilstrap, SVP and head of strategy at Ericsson. “We expect LTE subscriptions to exceed 1 billion in 2017, driven by more capable devices and demand for data-intensive services such as video. Owing to the build out of WCDMA/HSPA, network speeds have improved, and so has the user experience.”

GigaOM reports some compelling highlights from Ericsson’s report:

“Smartphones accounted for around half of all mobile-phone sales in Q1 2013, compared with roughly 40 percent for the whole of 2012,” notes the article. “So it is no surprise that mobile-broadband subscriptions are growing really fast — during the the first three months of 2013, they grew 45 percent faster than the same period in 2012 and now stand at around 1.7 billion.”

“More smartphones means more demand for data, ergo, data traffic volumes doubled between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013. Data traffic growth between Q4 2012 and Q1 2013 was 19 percent,” adds the article. “During 2013, overall mobile data traffic is expected to continue the trend of doubling each year.”

While growth of voice traffic between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013 was only 4 percent, social networking on mobile devices continues to rise — an average of up to 85 minutes per day for some networks.

The full report is available from Ericsson online as a PDF.