Video consumption on mobile devices continues to increase at an extraordinary rate – 60 percent annually, and it is expected to continue to grow at that clip for at least another 5 years, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.
Video consumption is on average 2.6GB per subscription per month in some networks.
And while video naturally consumes the most capacity, social networking is also a key driver in the growth of mobile data traffic. Consumers spend more time on social networking: an average of up to 85 minutes per day in some networks.
Increasing usage is driven by continual growth in the amount of content available as well as the improved network speeds that come with HSPA and LTE development.
Douglas Gilstrap, senior vice president and head of strategy at Ericsson, says: "LTE services will be available to about 60 percent of the world's population in 2018. 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."
Smartphones accounted for around half of all mobile-phone sales in Q1 2013, compared with roughly 40 percent for the whole of 2012.
The number of total mobile subscriptions grew by 8 percent globally year-on-year by Q1 2013. Of those, WCDMA/HSPA added around 60 million subscriptions, GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions grew by roughly 30 million, and LTE added around 20 million new subscriptions. Mobile-broadband subscriptions grew even faster over this period (at a rate of 45 percent year-on-year), reaching around 1.7 billion.
Overall data traffic is expected to grow 12-fold by the end of 2018, according to Ericsson.
- Total global smartphone subscriptions hit the 1.2 billion mark in 2012, and are due to reach 4.5 billion by the end of 2018
- 60 percent of the world's population due to be covered by LTE in 2018
- Smartphone users spend most time on social networks: an average of 85 minutes a day in some networks
- Data traffic volumes doubled between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013, and are expected to grow 12-fold by 2018
Mobile data consumption by data type