Ericsson has recently released its newest Mobility Report, and according to its projections, mobile users based in the North American continent will be consuming an incredible 26 gigabytes of data on a monthly basis half a decade from now. Right now, the tech giant claims that North American consumers already burn through 5 gigabytes of data each month, and in just five years, that level of consumption will multiply more than five fold.
It is no secret that people based in mobile markets located in North American regions tend to consume high amounts of data. As a matter of fact, Ericsson expects mobile traffic to reach 6.9 gigabytes every month for each active smartphone device by the end of this year. 6.9 gigabytes is nearly two fold that of Western Europe, where data usage is second highest across the globe. By the end of 2017, usage in Western European countries is projected to reach 3.9 gigabytes every month for each active smartphone.
Looking at the bigger picture, data traffic increased 70 percent around the world between the first quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year. Much of the surge in data traffic has been driven by mobile video, which is not surprising, considering the popularity of video content providers such as Google’s YouTube and of course, Netflix. The second biggest contributor to the volume of global data traffic is social media platform apps.
Right now, various wireless carriers have already started exploring the uses of millimeter wave spectrum bands. While it is true that these types of bands are not ideal for mobile coverage, they do have the ability to handle big capacity pretty well, and service providers of today are now seeing millimeter wave spectrum bands as the answer to meeting the increasing demand for mobile data in the next few years. Indeed, the United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has moved to prepare above 24 GigaHertz for the upcoming 5G, which will likely take full advantage of current networks built for 4G LTE.
5G is expected to be big. As a matter of fact, Ericsson’s Mobility Report predicts that in 2022, the volume of subscribers of 5G service will hit over half a billion in number. But as explained by Glenn Laxdal, head of Network Products at Ericsson North America, the coming of 5G will see a marriage of both new tech (5G) and existing tech (4G). Such a marriage will really go far in providing optimum mobile service, with 5G using the millimeter wave spectrum to ensure there is enough capacity for every user, and 4G serving as the layer to further strengthen mobile coverage.
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