Ericsson has released its latest report on global mobile traffic, showing data traffic in the third quarter was twice the level of that a year earlier. This is driven by the growing number of smartphones, which accounted for approximately 40 per cent of all phones sold.
Ericsson predicts data traffic will grow at a compound annual rate (CAGR) of around 50 per cent between 2012 and 2018, driven mainly by video. The company's research shows that online video is the biggest contributor to mobile traffic volumes, constituting 25 per cent of total smartphone traffic and 40 per cent of tablet traffic.
Total mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 6.6 billion by the end of 2012, and 9.3 billion by the end of 2018, excluding any contribution from Machine to Machine (M2M). In the third quarter, China alone accounted for about 35 per cent of net additions, adding about 40 million lines. Brazil (nine million), Indonesia (seven million), and the Philippines (five million) followed in terms of net additions.
Overall, global mobile penetration reached 91 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, and mobile subscriptions now total around 6.4 billion. Mobile subscriptions grew by around nine per cent year-on-year, and two per cent quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter.Ericsson also charted the expected growth in Long Term Evolution (LTE). From about 455 million people covered by LTE networks at mid-2012, the figure is expected to grow to half the world's population within five years. LTE subscribers are forecast to grow from around 55 million at the end of 2012 to an estimated 1.6 billion in 2018. This makes LTE the fastest-developing system in the history of mobile communications in terms of build-out and uptake, Ericsson said.