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Worldwide mobile data traffic saw extreme growth over the past decade. Traffic has increased almost 300-fold since 2011.

This is what Ericsson states in a study. In the third quarter of 2021, the total volume of mobile data traffic worldwide reached 78 Exabytes. In the last quarter alone, mobile data volume was already more than in all of 2016. By 2027, mobile data traffic is expected to hit 370 Exabytes.

5G becomes dominant mobile technology

The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report also shows that the number of mobile connections is growing rapidly. Since 2011 and the advent of 4G/LTE, a whopping 5.5 billion smartphone connections have been added worldwide. Today, it is 5G that is on its way to becoming the most dominant mobile technology.

Researchers indicate that by the end of 2021, there will be 660 million 5G subscriptions worldwide. 98 million 5G subscriptions were added in the last third quarter alone. Sales of the number of 5G devices also continue to grow steadily, experts say. In addition, 5G networks will provide coverage to more than 2 billion people worldwide by the end of 2021.

Growth in IoT and fixed-mobile connections

Furthermore, the study says that the composition of mobile connections is changing. Whereas 2011 was dominated by smartphones, today’s world is packed with IoT devices and applications. Broadband IoT connections are slowly but surely taking over the existing cellular IoT connections via 2G/3G. Other IoT connection technologies such as NB-IoT or Cat-M cannot stand up to the trend.

Experts say the rapid rollout of IoT applications mainly stems from e-healthcare wearables, logistics tracking, environmental monitoring, smart meters, and smart tracking and monitoring devices within the manufacturing industry.

The number of fixed-mobile connections will also increase significantly in the coming years. By the end of this year, there will be a total of 88 million worldwide. By 2027, Ericsson forecasts that there will be no less than 230 million. Approximately half of these types of connections will soon be provided by 5G networks.

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