Mobile data traffic to grow tenfold by 2016

November 8, 2011
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, JOHANNESBURG, Nov 8 – As more people across the world continue to acquire smart phones, industry players expect this to translate into an immense surge in the amount of data that is accessed on the Internet through the mobile phone.

Handset manufacturer and telecom equipment firm Ericsson predicts that mobile data traffic will grow more than tenfold in the next five years driven also by the increased sale of other devices such as tablets.

“Mobile broadband subscriptions will reach almost five billion in 2016, up from the expected 900 million by the end of 2011.That would represent 60 percent year-on-year growth, at the same time as the data consumed by smartphone users is surging,” said a press statement from the firm.

This forecast is supported by the fact that a strong momentum for smartphone uptake has been reported in all regions which in turn continue to drive data consumption.

The penetration of Internet and access to other multimedia applications will also be a contributing factor although there is general consensus that the further development of broadband and the reduction of prices will be key determinants.

According to the new Traffic and Market Data report, 60 percent of mobile traffic will come from users living on less than one percent of the earth’s total land area by 2016.

“Ericsson performs a broad range of measurements in order to monitor the pulse of the Networked Society – measurements that we use to efficiently design our products and plan networks. This report offers snapshots that, together, show how a growing number of people and businesses benefit from mobility, broadband and the cloud,” explained, Head of Ericsson Business Unit Networks Johan Wibergh.

He pointed out that the findings were made possible by Ericsson’s footprint in nearly 200 countries.

“Ericsson’s presence in more than 180 countries, where it supports more than 1,000 networks, enables it to measure mobile voice and data volumes. The result is a representative base for calculating world total mobile traffic in 2G, 3G, and 4G networks,” Wibergh enthused.

The report partly reflects what is happening locally with data becoming a vital revenue stream for all mobile phone operators. Granted the voice service is still a key money maker for these operators who are being forced to make major investments to cater for the increased data traffic on their networks.

The growth of smart phones and other devices has prompted many firms to shift focus to the delivery of services on this platform.

The government has not been left behind either and has pledged to move its services to this platform to enhance its service delivery too.

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