Ericsson is forecasting rapid global growth in mobile broadband subscriptions as a percentage of total mobile subscriptions saying they will account for 92 per cent of an estimated 9 billion mobile subscriptions by 2022, up from 59 per cent of 7.5 billion subscriptions at the end of 2016.
To achieve this figure, it says, on average, 1 million new mobile broadband subscriptions will be added every day between now and 2022. In the first quarter of 2017 the figure was closer to 3 million.
This, Ericsson says, will drive mobile data traffic to a global figure of 71 exabytes per month by 2022, from 8.8 exabytes today, a compound annual growth rate of 42 per cent. By 2022 video is forecast to account for 75 per cent of mobile data traffic, up from 50 per cent today.
The figures come from Ericsson’s just released annual mobility report. For Australia, it says there were around 30 million mobile phone subscriptions at the end of 2016, representing 1.3 for every person in the country.
At the end of 2016 Australia had around 60 per cent LTE subscription and 40 per cent on 3G. In 2022, Ericsson predicts there will be around 90 per cent LTE subscriptions and 10 per cent 3G.
The report highlighted the relatively low uptake of locally developed mobile apps as a sign of an opportunity for local app developers.
Emilio Romeo, head of Ericsson Australia & New Zealand said: “The Ericsson Mobility Report shows that of only 13 percent of the top 100 apps Australian’s actively using monthly on smartphone (android) are created locally or from the region.
“This reveals there is an opportunity to stimulate uptake for usage of local apps. The top types of apps Australians currently using are for Finance, weather, access to mobile services providers, real estate, travel, and video streaming.”
Ranking highest in the region with 24 per cent of the top 100 apps locally developed was Singapore, at 24 per cent. New Zealand fared slightly better with 15 per cent.
Australia was also singled out for having the world’s only Cat 16 LTE-Advanced network, launched by Telstra early this year, when it introduced the Nighthawk cellular Wi-Fi hotspot with a theoretical maximum downstream speed of 1Gbps.
Ericson says there are currently 591 commercial LTE networks deployed in 189 countries. Out of these, 194 have been upgraded to LTE-A networks. Only nine (5 per cent) of these 194 LTE-A networks support Cat 11 with a 600Gbps capability and 20 per cent (41) support Cat 9 at 450Mbps.
By 2022 Ericsson is tipping the Asia Pacific region to have 10 per cent of services on 5G, in second position after North America with 25 per cent on 5G.
However it points out that this represents a much more rapid technology evolution than in North America. Today 70 per cent of North American subscribers are on LTE but in Asia Pacific that figure is only 30 per cent and 40 per cent are on 2G services, compared to less than 5 per cent in North America.