Wireless Broadband Coalition Projects 700% Hike in Mobile Data Traffic

A projected 700% hike in mobile data traffic in North America between 2013 and 2019 highlights the need for the U.S. government to make more spectrum available to carriers, according to the Wireless Broadband Coalition.  The coalition cited a report released by Ericsson that projects a seven-fold increase in mobile data traffic in North America between this year and 2019.  The increases are expected to be even greater – 11 times – in Latin America; Central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and the Asia Pacific regions.

“The data Ericsson has collected is compelling.  For the third consecutive year, actual traffic on wireless networks has exceeded all the forecasts used by the FCC in developing the spectrum allocation recommendations in the 2010 National Broadband Plan.  Despite continued advances in the deployment of new technology like LTE, more cleared, paired, spectrum below 3 GHz will be needed to help the wireless industry deliver the mobile broadband services that consumers demand,” David Taylor, executive director of the coalition, said in a statement released yesterday.

“The findings in today’s report increase the pressure on the Administration, Congress, the FCC, and industry to allocate more spectrum for commercial use,” Mr. Taylor added.  “The first step is for the Administration, Congress and industry to continue working together to make the promise of clearing the 1755-1780 MHz band, pairing with 2155-2180 MHz and auctioning the pair by February 2015 a reality.  Second, the report increases pressure on the FCC to design and ultimately to deliver a successful incentive auction of broadcast TV spectrum.”

“The number of mobile subscriptions worldwide has grown approximately 7 percent year-on-year during Q3 2013. The number of mobile broadband subscriptions grew even faster over this period – at a rate of 40 percent year-on-year, exceeding 2 billion in 2013,” the Ericsson report said.  “The amount of data usage per subscription also continued to grow steadily and around 55 percent of all mobile phones sold in Q3 2013 were smartphones.”

The report also predicted 10-fold growth in smartphone traffic between 2013 and 2019, and it said that LTE will cover 65% of the world’s population by 2019. – Paul Kirby [Courtesy TRDaily, November 13, 2013]