Mobile data traffic to surge 45pc a year
James R | On 18, Mar 2016
Mobile data traffic is forecast surge 45 per cent a year for the next five years, according to a new report from Ericsson.
The firm’s latest mobility report, published at the 2016 Mobile World Congress (via Digital TV Europe), predicts that accumulated mobile data traffic for video will rise from 50 ExaBytes for the period 2010-15 to an estimated 1,000 ExaBytes for the period 2016-2021.
Mobile traffic rose 20 ExaBytes last year alone, according to the report, half of which was made up of video streaming – the equivalent of roughly three full feature-length movies per smartphone subscription.
VOD services are naturally the major drivers behind this dramatic increase in mobile viewing, as they encourage longer viewing times – although YouTube remains the dominant player in the mobile market, accounting for 50 to 70 per cent of video traffic.
Indeed, TV and video content is increasingly consumed over mobile networks, and is also beginning to make up a bigger proportion of content streamed within apps, such as news and social media.
“The growth in data traffic is being driven both by increased smartphone subscriptions and a continued increase in average data volume per subscription, fuelled primarily by more viewing of video content,” comments Ericsson, with mobile data traffic climbing 65 per cent year-on-year between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015.
Ericsson forecasts the growth to continue at a rate of 45 per cent a year through 2021, a 10-fold increase in the coming six years.
— VOD Professional (@vodprofessional) March 16, 2016
The figures follow statistics from Sky that highlight the importance of mobile devices in audiences’ viewing habits, with smartphones used as connected devices for TV consumption in 66 per cent of UK households and tablets in 54 per cent – compared to 10 per cent for streaming media devices, such as Roku, and 38 per cent for games consoles.