Ericsson recently released its latest Mobility Report, providing a great, updated look at mobile communications trends and growth. Earlier this summer, ITI chatted with Ericsson’s Brian Jones about the June Mobility Report, and what it signaled to policy-makers about the need to continue finding opportunities to make spectrum available for mobile broadband. This latest report reinforces these points as the proliferation of smartphones, along with the growth in mobile device applications and services, continues driving mobile data traffic statistics at a staggering pace.
A few key statistics from Ericsson’s November Mobility Report:
- Roughly 4.5 billion subscribers have 6.6 billion mobile subscriptions globally;
- There were 113 million new subscriptions added in Q3 alone; China alone accounted for about ¼ of these subscriptions;
- There was an 80% growth in data traffic between Q3 2012, and Q3 2013;
- 55% of all mobile phones sold in Q3 were smartphones; and,
- Video accounts for 35% of all mobile data traffic in 2013.
Advances in technology will certainly help facilitate more efficient use of spectrum to meet this growing demand. Ericsson anticipates 65% of the world’s population, and 95% of the North American population will be covered by LTE networks by 2019. But the need for more cleared, licensed spectrum where possible will be key, as well as maximizing efficiency through shared use of spectrum that cannot be cleared will be critical. These trends speak for themselves, and reinforce domestically that U.S. policymakers need to continue their work to meet the goals laid out by the National Broadband Plan of making 300 MHz of spectrum available for mobile broadband by 2015, and 500 MHz by 2020.