Ericsson forecasts 10-fold increase in mobile data traffic

A new report from Ericsson forecasts mobile data traffic to grow 10-fold between 2011 and 2016, mainly driven by video.

The report also predicts mobile broadband subscriptions to reach almost 5 billion in 2016, up from the expected 900 million by the end of 2011. This would represent 60 percent year-on-year growth. Moreover, data consumed by smartphone users is surging and smartphone traffic is expected to triple during 2011.

Johan Wibergh, Head of Ericsson Business Unit Networks, said Ericsson performs a broad range of measurements in order to monitor the pulse of the Networked Society. "This report offers snapshots that, together, show how a growing number of people and businesses benefit from mobility, broadband and the cloud," he said.

Other highlights of the report include forecasts for growth of metropolitan and urban areas and its impact on growth of mobile traffic.

"By 2016 more than 30 percent of the world's population will live in metropolitan and urban areas with a density of more than 1,000 people per square kilometer. These areas represent less than 1 percent of the Earth's total land area, yet they are set to generate around 60 percent of total mobile traffic," the report said.

Ericsson also expects new smartphone launches and applications uptake to continue to drive data consumption. It said traffic generated by advanced smartphones will increase 12-fold to roughly equal mobile PC-generated traffic by 2016.