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Video to drive growth of mobile data traffic
September 2, 2015, 1:02 pm

Mobile data traffic in the Middle East and North East Africa is expected to grow 14 times between 2014 and 2020, fuelled mainly by the usage of video in smartphones.

During the same period, the global data traffic is expected to grow only by nine times.

“Data-intensive utility, communication and entertainment services are commonly used by smartphone owners. Mobile video traffic will continue to grow driven by video streaming services and increasing prevalence of video in social media,” Patrik Melander, president and head of GCC, Pakistan and global customer unit Zain at Ericsson, said after releasing its Ericsson Mobility report.

He said the proliferation of mobile technologies is growing at a rapid pace. The data traffic per active smartphone user will grow from 0.8GB in 2014 to 5GB in 2020, registering an annual growth of 35 percent.

Lisa Nyman, head of strategy and business innovation at Ericsson Middle East and North East Africa, said the global video traffic will grow more than 13 times in 2020. In 2014, video accounted for 45 percent of the mobile traffic, 15 percent from social networking. By 2020, 60 percent of the mobile traffic will come from video.

The report shows that 40 percent of the global population in 2014 was covered by LTE and it is expected to grow to 70 percent of the population by 2020. About 90 percent of the world will be covered by mobile broadband network, out of which 70 percent will be smartphones. About 80 percent of the traffic will come from smartphones by 2020.

Nyman said the LTE subscriptions are on the rise and are expected to grow 50 times, compared to seven times the global figure, surpassing 210 million by 2020. The LTE subscribers will equate to 20 percent of all mobile subscriptions.

By the end of 2014, 17 percent or 125 million of all mobile subscriptions were attributed to smartphones.

Of the 970 million mobile subscriptions predicted at the end of 2020, 40 percent will come from smartphones.

Nyman said that even though 40 percent of the countries in the region have launched LTE technology, it still accounts only for one percent of the global subscriptions, most of which are concentrated in the Gulf countries.

The region held 10 percent of the global mobile subscriptions.

The Gulf, and especially the UAE and Qatar, have some of the “highest smartphone adoption rates” in the world, while Pakistan, Afghanistan, and North East African countries lag behind. This segment is also more advanced in its usage of the internet across different devices.

Mobile traffic in the region is expected to reach 1,700 Petabytes (PB) per month by the end of 2020, driven mainly by video. Mobile voice traffic will continue to rise slightly by an annual growth of six percent between 2014 and 2020.

“The fixed-line broadband is not properly deployed in the region and that is why mobile is the main method of accessing the internet,” Nyman said.

Source: Gulf News

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