Ericsson: Mobile data usage has increased almost 300 times in 10 years

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Global mobile data traffic will be nearly three hundred times higher in 2021 than in 2011, Ericsson reports. In the third quarter of 2021, about 78 exabytes of mobile data was sent every month. The majority of this, about 97 percent, comes from smartphones.

Ericsson writes about the increase in mobile data traffic in the Ericsson Mobility Report, the first edition of which appeared ten years ago. According to a 2011 report, about 360 petabytes of data were sent each month in the third quarter of 2011. The network company also says that more mobile data was sent in the third quarter of 2021 than ever mobile data was sent until the end of 2016.

Although mobile data traffic has grown considerably in the past ten years, that increase is leveling off somewhat. At the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, the annual growth rate was still between 90 and 100 percent. In the past quarter, that annual increase was ‘only’ 42 percent. This is in line with what Ericsson expected. 97 percent of all processed mobile data comes from smartphones. Of that percentage, 69 percent comes from video streams.

The report also discusses the rollout of 5G. In the third quarter of 2021, 98 million net 5G subscribers were added. In the same quarter, 48 million new 4G subscribers were added. Ericsson expects 5G to be the dominant subscription-based network technology by 2027 and writes that the move to 5G will be faster than the move to 4G. By the end of this year, there should be nearly 660 million 5G subscribers, more than expected. This is due to the increased demand for 5G subscriptions in China and North America as the prices of 5G devices fall.

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