Ericsson released its Traffic and Market Report recently, revealing that they expect 3 billion smartphone subscribers by 2017. The report further predicts that mobile data usage will grow 15 fold over the next five years while smartphone traffic will grow 20 fold.
Mwambu Wanendeya, Ericsson Vice President & Head of Communications, said that overall mobile data is expected to have almost doubled during 2011.
“Mobile PCs dominate traffic in most mobile networks today, but smartphone traffic is growing faster, due to high growth in subscriptions. In the latter years, data traffic will be split fairly equally between mobile phones and mobile PCs and tablets,” said Wanendeya.
According to Ericsson the data usage per subscriber partly relates to the screen size of the user’s individual device.
“By the end of 2011, an average mobile PC generated approximately 2 GB per month versus 500 MB per month produced by a high-traffic smartphone,” said Wanendeya. “An average smartphone generates around half of the volume of a high-traffic smartphone.”
Ericsson predicts that by the end of 2017, mobile PC users will generate 8 GB per month, a tablet 3.2 GB, and a smartphone just above 1 GB.
To support the higher data usage mobile networks will have to upgrade their networks to the latest technologies.
In this regard Ericsson predicts that by 2017 over 90% of the world will have mobile coverage, where over 85% will be covered by 3G. “By 2017 we also estimate that 50% of the worlds population will have 4G or LTE coverage,” said Wanendeya.