There Will be 5,000,000,000 Mobile Data Subscriptions in 5 Years – That's 10X Today's Number

Mobile technology company Ericsson has come forth with a prediction that global mobile data subscriptions will reach 5 billion in 2016, essentially growing tenfold from today's number in just five years.

The factors triggering this tsunami? Ericsson anticipates the overwhelming majority of new cellphones purchased to be smartphones, not regular cellphones, and of those buying smart devices, the company expects virtually all consumers to equip their internet-enabled devices with mobile data plans.

Ericsson also predicts that data usage per user will climb significantly, largely due to an increase in video consumption. As smartphones get larger and higher-quality screens, and networks begin to offer speeds sufficient for heavy media streaming, mobile consumers will view more and more videos and other rich media more often.

But wait—there's even more interesting data Ericsson laid out. The company believes that 60% of data usage in 2016 will come from users occupying just 1% of the earth's land mass. That's because it's anticipated that 30% of the world's population will exist in high-density metropolitan areas of 1,000 people or more per square kilometre.

While data on tablets and laptops is expected to skyrocket along with smartphone data, voice usage is predicted to remain stagnant, not increasing at all over the next 5 years.

Image: Ericcson, VentureBeat

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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