Mobile data traffic to grow 10-fold by 2016

The traditional telecom model, which was to deliver voice and messaging services to consumers and businesses, is terminally ill. While the voice and messaging segment is still the most important source of operator revenue, the future of the industry is in the provision of data. As posted in our previous blogs referred to “Offloading data traffic strategies” and “Data growth risks for telecom operators“, more subscribers are accessing more applications on more devices than ever, so the demand for data service will just continue growing. At the same time, it is worth bearing in mind that from the operators’ viewpoint the data surge can be a good thing only if they can monetize the consumption, and there are significant question marks on this respect (subject of another post).

According to latest Ericsson’s market report, total smartphone traffic will triple in 2011. By 2016, users living on less than 1 percent of the Earth’s total land area are set to generate around 60 percent of mobile traffic. We are living in exciting times. In all parts of the world, people are adopting more advanced mobile devices that enable connectivity anywhere, anytime. This trend is taking us towards a society where places, people and devices are constantly connected – a networked society.

Global mobile penetration is now at 82 percent, and the total number of mobile subscriptions is at around 5.8 billion. Growth is particularly rapid in China and India, where 50 million new subscriptions were added in Q3 of this year alone.

At the same time, behavior is changing just as rapidly. Smartphone users are now browsing the internet, chatting online, playing games and checking emails almost constantly – even before getting out of bed.

Fueled by mobile broadband – where subscriptions have grown by 60 percent year-on-year – the data consumed by smartphone users is surging. Mobile data surpassed voice in Q4 2009 and doubled voice in Q1 2011.

These and many more interesting data points are presented in this report, alongside other insights and analysis. Engaging and valuable reading for sure. Online link:

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