Ericsson: Mobile data traffic will grow 10-fold by 2016

My busy schedule makes sure that I am out of the house for approximately most of the day. Aside from my time at the office, I spend a fairly considerable amount of time commuting, eating out, going to meetings, doing more commuting, and having coffee after dinner in some nearby cafe. That said, my position also requires that I keep in constant contact with my colleagues and direct supervisor via email. Years ago, I used to lug around my laptop to various places in search of free WiFi or a hot spot that I can use to do my job.

However, times have changed and now I used my tablet or smartphone to go online. Despite the change in device, I still do my bit to contribute to the constantly rising mobile data demand that has been pushing several Internet service providers to their limits.

Ericsson had previously reported that the mobile data demand had actually doubled over the past twelve months. Now they have released another report predicting that mobile data traffic will multiply ten times over by the year 2016.

Mobile Data Demand

Ericsson predicts that mobile data demand will be divided almost equally between mobile devices like smartphones on one hand, and PCs and tablets on the other.

The firm emphasises that the traffic will be generated in specific regions and locations, stating: “By 2016, over 30 percent of the world’s population are expected live in metro and urban areas with a density of more than 1,000 people per square kilometre. These areas represent less than 1 percent of the Earth’s total land area, yet they are set to generate around 60 percent of mobile traffic by 2016.”

Predicted Mobile Data Traffic 2016

Ericsson made use of data that was gathered over the course of several years in live networks that covered all regions of the world.

Other main highlights of the report include the following:

- Mobile subscriptions will surpass 8 billion by 2016; however, this excludes the growth potential from M2M and other connected devices
- Subscriptions to mobile broadband services are growing by 60% year by year and are currently at the 900 million mark
- Video streaming is one of the factors that has caused the constant increase in mobile data demand
- Areas that comprise less than 1 percent of the Earth’s total land area will be the locations generating 60% of total mobile traffic

Source – Gigaom