Data traffic to grow 12-fold by 2018

Overall mobile data traffic is expected to grow twelve-fold by the end of 2018, with video traffic growing 60 per cent annually, according to a report released today by Ericsson.

Ericsson’s Mobility Report also revealed that total global smartphone subscriptions hit the 1.2 billion mark in 2012, with the number due to reach 4.5 billion by the end of 2018. At this point 60 per cent of the world’s population should have LTE coverage.

“We expect LTE subscriptions to exceed 1 billion in 2017, driven by more capable devices and demand for data-intensive services such as video,” said Doug Gilstrap, senior VP and head of strategy at Ericsson. “Owing to the build out of WCDMA/HSPA, network speeds have improved, and so has the user experience.”

While video is popular—video consumption is averaging 2.6GB per subscriber per month in some networks—users don’t necessarily tend to spend the most time on data-heavy applications, said Ericsson. In fact, consumers tend to spend more time on social networking websites; up to 85 minutes per day on average, for some networks.

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