Aldo Agostinelli

Mobile communications are obviously evolving. And, according to the latest Mobility Report issued by Ericsson, by 2023 they will have reached over 1 billion subscriptions to the 5G system in the world, 37% of which in North America, 34% in the North East of Asia and 16% in Western Europe, Italy included. Read it in Italian

According to such report, the 5G technology will be available first in big cities and then in the surrounding areas, up to a coverage of 20% of the global population within the next 6 years. And if the new technology is expected to lead to new applications and transformations of the business itself, it may be useful to know the 5G based networks, the New Radio and 3GPP devices are supposed to be available in the United States, South Korea, Japan and China already in 2019.

With regard to LTE, Ericsson claims that before the end of 2017 it may become the dominant technology for mobile connections, with over 5,5 billion subscriptions, and by the end of 2023 it will be available to over 85% of the global population. Whereas VoLTE (Voice over LTE) networks by that date should have reached 80% of contracts combined with a LTE or 5G. This will also be due to the availability of wearable technology such as last generation smartwatches which allow you not only to make calls wherever you are and without the need for a smartphone, but also to transfer calls from the phone to the watch itself.

Smart devices are expected to increase: within the next six years there will be over 30 billion connectible devices, 20 billions of which connected to the Internet of Things. In 2023, about 1,8 billion IoT devices will make use of LTE of 5G networks, and 0,5 billion devices will be using them already at the end of 2017. The report forecasts a growth of this sector of +19% by 2023, mainly due to more affordable prices.

Higher speed and better performance, however, translate into more traffic. Over the past year global exchanges of mobile data have recorded an increase of +65% and in 2023 we expect figures exceeding 100 Exabyte/month. Which translates in an increase of about 8 times the current figures, corresponding to more or less 5,5 million years of HD video streaming. And 95% of such traffic will be generated by smartphones (today we have reached an astounding 85%).

It is no surprise then, that videos are leading such development: currently they account for 55% of the overall data traffic, and in 2023 they should reach 75%. Millennials are especially responsible for such trend, in particular those aged 15 to 24, who stream videos 2,5 more than people over 45. Video evolution shall be taken into consideration, too: immersive videos, i.e. 360 degrees videos, are bound to become more popular and they need over 5 times more broadband than a standard video. It is therefore quite easy to estimate the impact this is expected to have on data traffic.

To sum up, we need to be ready for an always-on future when we are expected to be much more connected than now.

Which innovative services may take off thanks to hyper fast networks? As marketers how will you exploit the new types of connection? Tweet @agostinellialdo.

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Aldo Agostinelli