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Mobile phone traffic set to increase by 800%!

27th Nov 2014

By Joanna Waclawski

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Feel like you’re glued to your smartphone? Well, Ericsson (of Sony Ericsson) have published research where they predict mobile traffic to inflate to 800% by 2020!

“The increase in data traffic between 2019 and 2020 will be greater than the total sum of all mobile data traffic up until the end of 2013.”

That’s a lot of time, a lot of phones and a lot of tech-savvy people. Last year, 50 million iOS and Android devices were activated on Christmas Day alone!

As new mobile technology becomes ever more popular and integrated into our daily lives, the price has plateaued making smartphones more affordable and attainable. To an extent, the smartphone is now the modern necessity that some people are willing to make their priority purchase. Not only in Western countries but developing countries will soon have caught up.

With popularity comes the need for phone designs to regularly improve and adapt to users’ needs. So now larger, touch screens have become the main feature across all brands making websites and apps much easier to navigate. And in turn, an increasing number of companies are optimising their websites to work on mobile and tablet devices or even creating their own apps. Something we at Fanatic enjoy working on for our clients 😛

Ericsson also discovered that video streaming takes up the largest segment of traffic usage: 45%.

One culprit for this could be the 2 billion Youtube views South Korean pop star Psy has now notched up on his music video for “Gangnam Style”. That’s a mind boggling 140 million hours or 16,000 years worth of time. Thanks to The Economist for working that one out.

Clearly this is an extreme example and the majority of users will be streaming other videos on Youtube, social media and television streaming platforms. Even online and distance learning courses are starting to appear as mobile-friendly options.
What Ericsson are telling/warning us is that the market is here and it is growing far quicker than imagined. Mobile phone companies and service providers will need to pick up the pace on making more parts of the country 4G ready. Businesses will have to start investing in more services to capitalise on this thirst for mobile traffic through training, marketing, digital presence and employment.


If our expanding tech industry is invested in properly, there could be a positive growth within our economy. But at a socio-cultural level, there are more unknowns. It is a relatively new but equally important area of study. Our lifestyles are changing so quickly and the big question still in my mind is, by the year 2020, what will people be doing on their smartphones to take up so much traffic? Maybe it hasn’t even been invented yet but it won’t be much longer til we find out.

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