In what it describes as an “historic milestone for the mobile industry,” Swedish telecom vendor Ericsson says that mobile data traffic surpassed voice traffic for the first time in December 2009. Ericsson also said it found that 3G traffic now tops 2G traffic.
The vendor based its findings on measurements from live networks from around the world, and says that the crossover occurred at approximately 140,000 terabytes per month in both voice and data traffic. It adds that data traffic globally grew 280 percent during each of the last two years, and is forecast to double annually over the next five years.
The firm pointed to the rise of mobile data traffic via devices such as smartphones and PCs and the popularity of social networking sites on mobile devices. Ericsson calculated that over 200 mobile operators in 60 countries are now deploying and promoting Facebook mobile products, with over 100 million active users accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
“This is a significant milestone with some 400 million mobile broadband subscriptions now generating more data traffic than the voice traffic from the total 4.6 billion mobile subscriptions around the world,” said Hans Vestberg, Ericsson’s president and CEO, at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas this week.
Cisco has predicted that by 2014, the average mobile broadband connection will generate 7 GB of traffic per month. Clearwire’s mobile WiMAX subscribers use around 7 GB of data per month now, reports Fierce Wireless.
A separate study released this week by rival vendor Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) called for operators to improve mobile broadband quality. Based on a global survey of Internet users, NSN said that mobile broadband users are said to be up to 22 percent ‘less satisfied’ with their connectivity when compared to fixed broadband.
Research2guidance, a market researcher, says the worldwide smartphone application market will grow from $1.94 billion in 2009 to $15.65 billion by 2013.
It’s driven by smartphone growth. They estimate smartphone users will increase globally from about 100 million last year to 970 million by the end of 2013.