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Mobile data boom anticipated with traffic set to increase 800% by 2020

Mobile traffic has been projected to increase eight-fold by 2020, according to research from Ericsson.

Social networks accounted for 15 per cent of all mobile data used

The firm’s mobility report found that there was a 60 per cent growth in mobile data usage in the year following November 2013 but projected that by 2020, the international uptake of mobile data will rise by 800 per cent.

The report said: “Traffic in the mobile phone segment is primarily generated by smartphones. Smartphone subscriptions are expected to more than double by 2020, resulting in rapid traffic growth.

“The increase in data traffic between 2019 and 2020 will be greater than the total sum of all mobile data traffic up until the end of 2013.”

Video is the fastest growing, and largest sector of mobile data consumption, accounting for 45 per cent of all data streamed.

This is anticipated to grow ten-fold worldwide by 2020. The report attributed this growth to the increasing complexity of mobile devices, it said: “Many [devices] now have larger screens, enabling higher picture quality for streamed video."

"Video content is increasingly appearing as part of other online applications; for example, news, advertisements, and social media. Streaming video is growing strongly, primarily driven by over-the-top providers such as YouTube and Netflix.”

Social networking accounted for only 15 per cent of data and web browsing represented a tenth. Music streaming was only responsible for two per cent of all data used.

This comes after Ofcom announced that it is going to reclaim digital TV airwaves to increase the UK’s capacity for 4G and 5G data.

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