Five years ago, mobile smartphones were still a wonder in parts of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Today, it is completely different with mobile technology registering thousands of subscriptions per day. It is anticipated that smartphone subscriptions will more than double reaching 6.1 billion , 70% world’s population will be using smartphones, and 90 per cent will be covered by mobile broadband networks. This is after the latest Edition of the Ericsson report registered over 910 million mobile subscriptions in the first quarter of 2015.
Developing regions across boarders have resulted to an increasing number of devices per individual this is due to a swell of new subscribers as smartphones become more affordable; almost 80% of smartphone subscriptions added by year-end 2020 will be from Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.
With the continued rise of smartphones comes an accelerated growth in data usage: smartphone data is predicted to increase ten-fold by 2020, when 80 percent of all mobile data traffic will come from smartphones. Average monthly data usage per smartphone in North America will increase from 2.4 GB today to 14 GB by 2020.
The immense growth in advanced mobile technology and data usage, driven by a surge in mobile connectivity and smartphone uptake will bring wealth of opportunities for telecom operators and others to capture new revenue streams.
An expanding range of applications and business models coupled with falling modem costs are key factors driving the growth of connected devices. Added to this, new use cases are emerging for both short and long range applications, leading to even stronger growth of connected devices moving forward. Ericsson’s forecast outlined in the report points to 26 billion connected devices by 2020, confirming that we are well on the way to reaching the vision of 50 billion connected devices.
Each year until 2020, mobile video traffic will grow by a staggering 55 percent per year and will constitute around 60 percent of all mobile data traffic by the end of that period. Growth is largely driven by shifting user preferences towards video streaming services, and the increasing prevalence of video in online content including news, advertisements and social media.
When looking at data consumption in advanced mobile broadband markets, findings show a significant proportion of traffic is generated by a limited number of subscribers. These heavy data users represent 10 percent of total subscribers but generate 55 percent of total data traffic. Video is dominant among heavy users, who typically watch around one hour of video per day, which is 20 times more than the average user.
By 2020, 80 percent of all mobile data traffic will come from smartphones. North America and Europe will continue to have highest data usage per smartphone.