Ericsson sees increased wireless impact; forecasts 9.3B mobile subs in 2018

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Mobility, cloud and wireless will help improve business, society and people’s everyday lives, according to Ericsson SVP and chief strategist Douglas Gilstrap. During the Ericsson Business Innovation Forum in São Paulo, Gilstrap shared the company’s view of the impact of increased mobile connections on daily life.

“We will see more applications coming up, such as e-education, mobile health,” he said in a video interview with RCR Wireless News.

Gilstrap also commented on Ericsson’s latest mobility report, which shows that mobile data traffic doubled between the third quarter of 2011 and the third quarter of this year, and forecasts that data traffic will grow 12-times between 2012 and 2018, driven mainly by video. By that time, total mobile subscriptions are expected to jump from 6.6 billion in 2012 to 9.3 billion in 2018, and LTE subscriptions are predicted to reach 1.6 billion by 2018.

“The mobile subscriber base is growing, so operators are still adding people with phones,” Gilstrap said.

Gilstrap noted that mobile-network quality expectations have been elevated by the availability of smartphones and tablets that have changed the way people use the Internet. “Mobility is becoming an increasingly significant part of our daily lives,” he said. “We always have devices within arm’s reach, allowing us instant access to information, entertainment and social interaction.”

According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, about 40% of all phones sold in the third quarter 2012 were smartphones. Data traffic doubled between the third quarter of 2011 and 2012, and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 50% between 2012 and 2018, driven mainly by video. Online video currently constitutes 25% of total smartphone traffic and 40% of total tablet traffic.

Study highlights:

  • Approximately 40% of all phones sold in Q3 2012 were smartphones, and smartphone data traffic growth is expected to exceed the overall average.
  • Mobile data traffic doubled between Q3 2011 and Q3 2012, and it is expected to grow 12-times between 2012 and 2018, driven mainly by video.
  • Total mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 6.6 billion in 2012 and 9.3 billion in 2018.
  • There were an additional 13 million LTE subscriptions in Q3 2012, and LTE subscriptions are predicted to reach 1.6 billion by 2018.

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