Smartphone sales soar as mobile video to represent more than half of traffic by 2019

Joseph O'Halloran | 12-11-2013

The rise and rise of the smartphone and an attendant spike in mobile video usage has been revealed by the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.

The survey found that from 2013-2019, mobile data traffic is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 45% and will result in an increase of around ten times by the end of this period. This rising number of smartphone subscriptions is the main driver for mobile data traffic growth with users consuming more data per subscription, mainly driven by video.

Ericsson says that the trend to increasingly towatch video over mobile networks and mobile devices is being facilitated by the better network speeds that come with HSPA and LTE development. The survey found a burgeoning mobile video market no longer characterised by early adopters using services such as YouTube. Video streaming services, such as Netflix, HBO and Vimeo, also showed strong uptake in some markets. As many as 41% of people aged 65–69 stream video content over mobile and fixed networks on at least a weekly basis.

In 2013, video is on track to account for 35% of mobile data traffic and by 2019, video will account for more than 50%, growing 55% annually. Ericsson’s research shows that online video is the biggest contributor to mobile traffic volumes, constituting 25% of total smartphone traffic and 40% of total tablet traffic. This, says Ericsson, puts new requirements on networks to cater for quality anywhere and anytime.

Mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2019, and more than 60% of these, some 5.6 billion, will be for smartphones. To support the smartphone user experience, WCDMA/HSPA networks are predicted in the Ericsson Mobility Report to cover 90% of the world's population by 2019 with almost two-thirds (65%) of the world's population covered by 4G/LTE networks.