5G to boom as video to make up lion’s share of future mobile data traffic | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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The latest Ericsson Mobility Report is forecasting the number of 5G subscriptions within the next six years to soar past 2.6 billion with video applications being a driving force of a surge in data usage.
Ericsson 5G 18June2019
Fundamentally, Ericsson said that 5G was going from strength to strength as networks were built out across the world. It noted a big uptake of 5G subscriptions has taken place in South Korea, with around three million subscribers recorded in just a few months, driven by the likes of SK Telecoms which has already launched video services on the new infrastructure.

The survey showed that in total there were 8 billion mobile subscriptions in the third quarter of 2019 with 61 million subscriptions added during the quarter. The number of 4G (LTE) subscriptions increased by 190 million during this period to reach a total of 4.2 billion, or 52% of all mobile subscriptions.

Yet most of the interest in the survey centred around 5G. The survey projects13 million 5G subscriptions for the end of 2019, a total boosted after 5G specifications were accelerated in 3GPP, device and infrastructure vendors took on the challenge to deliver 5G earlier than expected. Ericsson observed around 50 5G commercial launches across the world. In South Korea, service providers have committed to building 5G networks that will cover 93% of the population by the end of 2019. Similarly, 5G population coverage in Switzerland is expected to reach around 90% by the end of the year.

The survey adds that that given its current momentum, 5G subscription uptake will be significantly faster than that of LTE. The most rapid uptake is expected in North America with 74% of mobile subscriptions in the region forecast to be 5G by the end of 2025. North East Asia is expected to follow at 56%, with Europe at 55%. Year-on-year traffic growth for the third quarter of 2019 remained high at 68%, driven by the growing number of smartphone subscriptions in India, the increased monthly data traffic per smartphone in China, better device capabilities, an increase in data-intensive content, and more affordable data plans.

5G is going to see a huge boom in video applications which will take up large swatches of traffic. All in all the average monthly data-traffic-per-smartphone is forecast to increase from the current figure of 7.2 GBytes to 24 GBytes by the end of 2025.

Video traffic in mobile networks is forecast to grow by around 305 annually through 2025 to account for three-quarters of mobile data traffic, from around 60% in 2019. Ericsson says video traffic growth is being driven by the increase of embedded video in many online applications, growth of video-on-demand (VOD) streaming services in terms of both subscribers and viewing time per subscriber and the evolution toward higher screen resolutions on smart devices. The reports suggest that all of these factors have been influenced by the increasing penetration of video-capable smart devices.

Users were also increasingly streaming and sharing video. The most common resolution for video streamed over cellular networks has been estimated to be around 480p (varying from network to network). Ericsson noted that with smartphones and networks improving constantly, streaming HD (720p) and Full HD (1080p) video were becoming more common. More immersive media formats and applications are expected to become a significant factor contributing to mobile data traffic growth, as 5G networks will provide the performance needed for an acceptable experience.

Commenting on the data revealed in the Ericsson Mobility Report November 2019, Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks at Ericsson, said: “It is encouraging to see that 5G now has broad support from almost all device makers. In 2020, 5G-compatible devices will enter the volume market, which will scale up 5G adoption. The question is no longer if, but how quickly we can convert use cases into relevant applications for consumers and enterprises. With 4G remaining a strong connectivity enabler in many parts of the world, modernising networks is also key to this technological change we’re going through.”