Ericsson: Mobile data traffic will increase tenfold in next five years

Ericsson, a provider of technology and services to broadcasters and telecom operators, said in a new report that mobile data traffic will grow tenfold between 2011 and 2016. It will mainly be driven by online video.

Mobile broadband subscriptions grew by 60 percent in one year, Ericsson said, and are expected to grow from 900 million in 2011 to almost 5 billion in 2016. By the end of this period, users living on less than one percent of the Earth’s total land area are set to generate around 60 percent of mobile traffic.

In Ericsson’s new Traffic and Market Data report, which provides insights into current trends, the company said the data is based on measurements it recorded over several years in live networks covering all regions of the world.

The surge in usage will represent 60 percent year-on-year growth, at the same time as the data consumed by smartphone users is surging. Total smartphone traffic is expected to triple during 2011. Across all devices, Internet video access will continue to drive mobile traffic development and mobile data traffic.

Mobile broadband, new smartphone launches and applications uptake will continue to drive data consumption, the report said. At the same time, there is strong momentum for smartphone uptake in all regions. Ericsson expects traffic generated by advanced smartphones to increase twelvefold to roughly equal mobile PC-generated traffic by 2016.

Ericsson’s presence in more than 180 countries, where it supports more than 1000 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.