The latest report from the wireless vendor also shows that global subscriptions, excluding M2M, reached 6.4bn in Q3 with global penetration at 91 per cent. Guy Daniels reports.
The latest Ericsson Mobility Report reveals that data traffic doubled between the third quarter of 2011 and Q3 2012. The mobile vendor calculates that it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 50 per cent between 2012 and 2018, driven mainly by video.
According to Ericsson, online video is the biggest contributor to mobile traffic volumes, constituting 25 per cent of total smartphone traffic and 40 per cent of total tablet traffic.
Douglas Gilstrap, Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy at Ericsson, says this puts new requirements on networks:
“Expectations of mobile-network quality have been elevated by the availability of smartphones and tablets that have changed the way we use the Internet. Mobility is becoming an increasingly significant part of our daily lives; we always have devices within arm’s reach, allowing us instant access to information, entertainment and social interaction.”
Further Ericsson research confirms that approximately 40 per cent of all phones sold in Q3 were smartphones, and that total mobile subscriptions have now reached 6.4bn. Overall, global mobile penetration reached 91 per cent. China accounted for about 35 per cent of net additions during Q3, with about 40m additional subscriptions. Brazil added 9m subscribers during the quarter, with Indonesia 7m and the Philippines 5m.
Mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 6.6bn by the end of 2012 – rising to 9.3bn by the end of 2018 (note that these subscription figures exclude M2M devices). Ericsson says mobile subscriptions have grown by around 9 per cent year-on-year and 2 per cent quarter-on-quarter.
In terms of wireless technology deployments, Ericsson’s report says that by mid-2012, LTE coverage was available for an estimated 455m people globally. Within five years, the vendor says more than half the world’s population is expected to be within an LTE coverage area.
It adds that total LTE subscriptions will increase from around 55m at the end of 2012 to an estimated 1.6bn in 2018, making LTE the fastest-developing system in the history of mobile communications in terms of build-out and uptake.
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