Ericsson forecasts 8x mobile data traffic and 550 5G subs by 2022

Ericsson has released its latest mobility report and, unsurprisingly, it sees smartphone and video-driven mobile data consumption continuing to grow exponentially.

The headline stat is that total global mobile data traffic is forecast to increase by a factor of eight by 2022. Video already accounts for half of mobile data traffic and that proportion is forecast to increase to three quarters by 2022. The other headline-grabber from the report is that Ericsson is still looking at 2020 (not sooner, as many are suggesting) for the first 5G subs, and that over half a billion people will already be living the 5G dream two years later.

“Almost 90 percent of smartphone subscriptions are on 3G and 4G networks today and standardized 5G networks are expected to be available in 2020,” said Ulf Ewaldsson, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer at Ericsson. “We are already seeing a great interest among operators in launching pre-standard 5G networks. 5G will accelerate the digital transformation in many industries, enabling new use cases in areas such as IoT, automation, transport and big data.”

We’ve extracted some tables from the report that offer a snapshot of Ericsson’s forecasts, starting with mobile subs by type.

Ericsson mobility nov 16 subscriptions


Here’s how Ericsson sees mobile data traffic consumption playing out, with video dominating and social networking the next biggest contributor.




Ericsson mobility nov 16 traffic type


Smartphones dominate traffic consumption and, while APAC will remain the main driver, a lot of growth will also be driven by Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Ericsson mobility nov 16 traffic regions


IoT is expected to drive a lot of growth in subscriptions and devices. The key stat in the next chart is wide-area IoT, which covers NB-IoT, LoRa, Sigfox, etc.

Ericsson mobility nov 16 devices


Lastly here’s a summary table of the report’s key stats.

Ericsson mobility nov 16 key figures


  • Private Networks in a 5G World

  • 5G Networking Digital Symposium

  • LIVE: Getting the Best out of 5G

  • 5G Ecosystem Digital Symposium

  • 2020 Vision Executive Summit

  • TechXLR8

  • BIG 5G Event

  • 5G World

  • 5G Latin America

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