Video set to drive mobile data traffic growth to 2020, says Ericsson Mobility Report 2015


Mobile video is forecast to grow by around 55 per cent annually through to 2020, when it will account for around 60 per cent of all mobile data traffic, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report June 2015. Total mobile video traffic over the next six years will be more than 22 times that of the last six years: 25 versus 570 exabytes.

The massive rise in mobile video traffic will be driven by the proliferation of new devices with larger screens and higher display resolutions enabling better picture quality. As well as becoming part of other online content including news, advertisements and social media, the growth in mobile video traffic will also be driven by the need for mobile operators to offer attractive new service bundles to high-end consumer and enterprise users, as reflected in the growing trends of BYOD, flexible working and unified communications.

As a result, the relative share of traffic generated by web browsing will decline from 10 per cent in 2014 to 5 per cent by 2020 mainly as a result of stronger growth in the video category, with consumer preferences shifting towards more video and app-based mobile use relative to web browsing, says the report.

Increased video usage, and massive growth data traffic in general, will also lead to a decline in the relative share of voice and messaging revenue, which the report predicts will stay relatively flat, in terms of share of mobile traffic, over the forecast period. LTE Broadcast, improved voice quality and new, richer communications services such as mobile HD voice, VoLTE and native Wi-Fi calling functionality will maintain voice’s position as one of the primary applications on mobile devices, however, total voice traffic and revenue will remain relatively flat to 2020.

Total mobile data traffic, meanwhile, is expected to rise at a CAGR of around 45 per cent, resulting in a nine-fold increase in traffic by the end of 2020. The growth in data traffic between 2019 and 2020 will be greater than the total sum of all mobile data traffic up to the end of 2013, according to the Ericsson report. By the end of 2020, 85 per cent of all subscriptions will be for mobile broadband.

In terms of devices, the report notes that by 2016 the number of smartphone subscriptions will surpass those for basic phones for the first, and more than double by 2020, due to greater affordability in developing markets such as Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. It points out that 5G subscriptions will be commercially available in 2020, and subscription uptake is expected to be faster than for 4G. This growth will be driven to a large extent by new use cases, especially machine-type communication.

To view the full Ericsson Mobility Report June 2015, visit:

About Author

Gary Eastwood

Gary Eastwood has over 15 years of experience as a technology and business journalist and editor. He has held editorship positions on customer magazines for Microsoft, CSC, and EDF, as well as on B2B magazine Mobile Enterprise. He is the former Deputy Editor of Computer Business Review. In a freelance role, Gary has contributed numerous features and articles to a broad range of publications, including New Scientist, Computer Weekly, MIS, Marketing Week, Corporate Financier, Real Business, Wireless Business Review, and driven marketing communications projects for clients, such as Intel, the Confederation of British Industry, IBM, Logicalis, the Department of Trade & Innovation, and many others. Gary has written many white papers on a range of ITC subjects for Datamonitor. He is also an editorial photographer and business videographer, and has authored and ghost-written four books on photography. He is the Co-Director of EastwoodMiddleton Publishing, which provides contract/customer magazines for a growing list of clients, and publishes the B2B magazine for business leaders, Strategist.