Internet of things to overtake mobiles in 2018

rough boardsEricsson’s new mobility report predicts that the Internet of Things (IoT) will surpass mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices in 2018

The report claims that between 2015 and 2021, IoT use will increase at a compounded annual growth rate  of 23 percent, making up close to 16 billion of the total forecast 28 billion connected devices by 2021.

There also appears to be a mobile data consumption explosion with mobile traffic growing 60 per cent between the first quarter of 2015 and 2016.

Due to the rising number of smartphone subscriptions – especially for LTE-capable smartphones – and the increasing data consumption per subscriber, the trend will continue, with a predicted tenfold increase — to 22GB per subscriber in North America — in mobile traffic by the end of 2021.

Western Europeans will use a little less traffic by then, 18GB per month per subscriber, while folks in the Asia Pacific region will use up 7GB per month. However, due to a rapid growth of subscribers, the Asia Pacific region will have the largest share of mobile data traffic in 2021.

The trend is driven by the continuing rise of the smartphone. Ericsson claims smartphone subscriptions will overtake non-smartphone ones in the third quarter of 2016. Long-term, dumbphones are essentially dead; by 2021, 95 per cent of all phones in North America will be smartphones.

The report adds that LTE subscriptions grew at a high rate during Q1 2016. There were 150 million new subscriptions during the quarter, reaching a total of 1.2 billion worldwide. Subscriptions associated with smartphones also continue to increase, and are expected to exceed those for basic phones in Q3 this year.

It also had a look at the “kids of today” who are apparently giving up on traditional television to watching streaming video on postage stamp sized smartphone screens.  The son of Eric did not give any reasons for this.

The report discussed the need for global spectrum harmonization to secure early 5G deployments.