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Mobile data use up 49% yearly; 5G, IoT promise further rise

The concept of ‘mobility’ has long since moved beyond simply the phones people carry around with them to incorporate all internet-of-things (IoT) enabled objects. And with the advent of 5G, a consideration of mobile networks is inescapable.

Swedish telecommunications firm Ericsson has duly just updated its 2019 ‘Ericsson Mobility Report’ to cover the final quarter of 2019.

Among the key findings include the fact that the number of unique mobile subscribers reached 5.9 billion (the number including inactive subscriptions, ownership of multiple devices, and multiple subscriptions is 7.9 billion). Considering the world’s population is approximately 7.8 billion, around three quarters of the world’s population has a mobile subscription.

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It’s no surprise, then, that data traffic is increasing at a precipitous rate. Between the last quarter of 2018 and 2019, there was a whopping 49% increase in data traffic. Ericsson put that down to both the increase in subscriptions as well as an increase in the average amount of data used by each subscriber, which it determined was primarily due to a rise in viewing video content.

In a blog accompanying the release, Bradley Mead, Head of Network Managed Services, highlighted the energy considerations of such an increase, and the potential for AI to manage costs.

A consideration of mobile networks is not just confined to consumers, with it becoming an imperative for enterprises worldwide. A new report from US telecommunications firm Verizon Wireless, entitled the ‘Verizon Mobile Security Index 2020’, outlined the fact that, according to their survey, 80% of organisations would use mobile means as their primary means of accessing cloud services within the next five years. Mobile networks will also become increasingly relevant to the physical world. Another recent report suggested that, by 2025, 5% of all 5G connections will be from IoT-enabled objects.

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