At the first day of the Canadian Telecom Summit, Mark Henderson, of Ericsson Canada, presented highlights of Ericsson’s Mobility Report. Some of the highlights and implications are below.

The number of mobile subscriptions worldwide a respectable 7% year-on-year during Q1 2014. But these modest gains are dwarfed by the fact that mobile broadband subscriptions grew at an even faster 35% year-on-year over this period. If fact, 65% of all mobile phones sold in Q1 2014 were smartphones. These contributed to an astounding 65% growth in mobile/cellular data traffic between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014. The carriers are going to have to get ready for the mobile/cellular data tsunami!

From a regional perspective, North America is expecting LTE subscribers to increase from 25% to 85% of all subscribers by 2019!
As if you were not already impressed, Ericsson is forecasting a 10x (for emphasis: ten times) growth in mobile data traffic between 2013 and 2019.

If you are wondering how many more emails we could possibly send, you are way off the mark. In 2013, video accounted for 40% of mobile data traffic, with social networking accounting for another 10%. Video traffic is predicted to be over 50% of traffic by 2019. Are you one of the people watching Game of Thrones on your cell phone on the bus? This month, with the FIFA World Cup Soccer taking place, video traffic will surge due to all those fans stuck at work!

And the next killer app may be Voice over LTE (VoLTE). Asian and North American SPs will begin rolling this out in 2014.

Enough of these stats. The real issue is the implication for the required cellular infrastructure. LTE will become a definite must. But the infrastructure requirements will ripple outward to Mobile Backhaul, and even the core optical backbone.
For those who were hoping that major carrier capex had plateaued may have a nice surprise!

The Ericsson Mobility Report is available on-line at

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