Ericsson: By 2027, a mobile subscriber will consume 40 GB per month, technology will not adapt
A new Ericsson Mobility Report claims that global mobile internet consumption has doubled in the past two years. This year, the average subscriber will consume up to 15 GB of traffic per month, and by the end of 2027 – 40 GB. Ericsson experts fear that current technology will not be able to bear the burden.
From Q4 2021 to Q1 2022, mobile traffic consumption grew by 10% and total mobile traffic per month reached 93 EB (1 exabyte – 1.048 million terabytes). Compared to the first quarter of 2021, the growth was 40%, and compared to the first quarter of 2020 – 100%.
Ericsson attributes the explosive growth to the exponential increase in the amount of video content people watch. Video already represents 69% of the monthly mobile traffic consumed and, in 2027, this share will reach 79%.
By the end of this year, each smartphone user will consume an average of 15 GB of mobile traffic against 2.6 GB in 2017. With this dynamic, by the end of 2027, a user will already have 39.7 GB of mobile traffic per month.
Experts say that mobile traffic growth trends are also being driven by the development of 5G networks, where data transfer speeds are three to five times faster. Ericsson predicts that by 2027, 5G networks will cover 75% of the world’s population.
In 2021, it represented 10% of global traffic and, in 2027, this share will be 60%.
The report says that mobile operators themselves are increasingly attracting consumers with unlimited tariffs: 40% of respondents said they offer unlimited as part of premium plans, and 90% of these operators have already launched 5G networks.
However, many “unlimited plans” still have implied restrictions. Thus, the operators themselves fear network congestion, experts say.
Michael Johnston, co-founder and director of business development at IoT network platform TEAL, said that the explosive growth of the mobile Internet “may lead to traffic disruptions due to the fact that the existing infrastructure may not be able to handle the increasing demand. of users and the development of the Internet of Things.” .
This will happen without actively deploying new infrastructure features and introducing new networking technologies.
The expert says that public cellular networks are already in danger, but we cannot forget that private networks, Wi-Fi networks, WANs, satellites and Bluetooth technologies also play an important role in the functioning of the Internet of Things.
A separate issue is the slowdown in the deployment of 5G networks due to a lack of available frequencies and equipment.
Johnston believes that so far none of the new networking technologies has all the necessary qualities: wireless transmission, ample bandwidth, low signal latency and an always-online connection.
Previously, it became known that the Ministry of Digital Development will extend the use of radio frequencies 175-230 MHz and 470-790 MHz for analogue television for another year, as mobile operators wishing to transfer bands for the development of networks 5G don’t. It has the necessary equipment.
In February, Russian authorities several times reduced the cost of changing the radio frequency spectrum in favor of 5G development.
Initially, it was planned to allocate 43 billion rubles for this direction by 2024, but as a result, it was decided to reduce the budget to 7.85 billion rubles.
Meanwhile, scientists at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have begun to develop technology to connect 5G mobile networks with satellite communications to connect remote sites.