Ericsson have recently released their latest Interim Mobility Report, which is a six monthly document to show the changes within the mobile market and seeking to find trends. This report, there are a number of interesting trends that Ericsson's research has uncovered, such has how across the world, approximately two thirds of traffic over mobile networks come from that region's top five applications. Another difference is the current and expected amount of data traffic from the different regions and how these numbers are set to change over the next five years, and how the growth in the number of LTE subscribers has finally overtaken the number of 3G subscribers.
In terms of application data, where the Ericsson report highlighted data usage for three countries – the United States of America, South Korea and Spain. In each country, Facebook was the number one application for mobile data usage, closely followed by video streaming services. Ericsson state that this shows the global trend: social networking and video are driving mobile data usage. Given the significant global exposure that Facebook has, this is no surprise – and given how video consumes proportionately more data over a period of time compared with other applications, this information should not be a surprise, either. There are differences in the preferences across the world; in the US, subscribers enjoyed Netflix and YouTube whereas South Korean customers enjoy the peer-to-peer AfreecaTV service. Ericsson believe that mobile video use is set to increase by an annualized 45% each year for at least the coming five years. The reasons behind this include an increase in average device smartphone screen sizes, better quality video (thanks to higher performance networks and sharper screens), which is encouraging application developers and advertisers to switch to video for online content, such as news, adverts and social media.
For the data used by an average mobile subscriber, Ericsson's data shows that North American consumers used the most data at 1.6 GB a month. Next, Western European customers used 1.3 GB followed by Central and Eastern European countries at 1.1 GB. Ericsson's industry experts believe that the mobile data usage will increase over the coming five years with these figures showing 6 GB for North American subscribers but 6.5 GB for Western European users. Central and Eastern European customer data is forecast to grow to just 2.5 GB a month. Data use is set to grow but will depend on the region, which presumably will depend on preferences.
When it comes to the increase of mobile subscribers, Ericsson's data makes interesting reading because in Q4 2014, 110 million customers with access to LTE technology were added to global carriers, which exceeded the number of subscribers without access to LTE networks. The report shows that 800 million smartphone subscriptions were added to carriers around the world during 2014, bringing the total up to 2.7 billion, a 40% increase compared with 2013.
Ericsson's data makes for interesting reading. How much is this reflected in your own device use? Have you increased the amount of mobile data that you use if you have switched to a larger device with access to higher performance networks? Let us know in the comments below.