Video streaming drives demand for mobile data
James R | On 17, Nov 2015
Get your room key, unpack your bags and check for a free Wifi hotspot. That’s become the standard routine for many tourists on holiday, as the urge to check emails, check social networks and catch up on TV shows and YouTube grows.
Yes, video on the move is a huge part of what people use their mobile devices for – and new research reveals just how big that has become. Global mobile data traffic is forecast to grow ten-fold by 2021, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, and video is forecast to account for 70 per cent of that in the same year.
Mobile video consumption is currently driving around six times higher traffic volumes per smartphone in North America and Europe. In the next six years, North America data traffic per active smartphone is predicted to grow from 3.8 to 22 GB per month, while in Western Europe, that increase is forecast to grow from 2 to 18 GB.
What are people streaming? According to Ericsson, YouTube accounts for up to 70 per cent of all video traffic, while Netflix’s share of video traffic can reach as high as 20 per cent in markets where it is available.
Rising demand for data on the go is forecast by Ericsson to lead to 150 million 5G mobile subscriptions by 2021. South Korea, Japan, China and the US are predicted to lead with the first, and fastest, 5G subscription uptake.
Rima Qureshi, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, Ericsson, says: “5G is about more than faster mobile services – it will enable new use cases related to the Internet of Things. For example, Ericsson has built a prototype testbed for applying 5G networking functions and data analytics to public transport, which can save resources, reduce congestion, and lower environmental impact.
We’ll be happy, though, with just being able to watch the latest episode of Jessica Jones in better quality, without buffering and at a lower cost. Or, failing that, cat videos.