9 Outlooks and Trends From the Mobility Report

The ericsson.com website published the latest version of the  Ericsson Mobility Report in November 2019. We compiled this list of nine outlooks and trends, and we found that we were a little surprised ourselves.

9 Voice and Communications Outlook and Trends. 

It is no secret that 5G is the next big thing in mobile technology. The name refers to the fifth generation of the mobile network and is the new global wireless standard.  Industry observers expect that 5G, together with the continued explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT), will launch the long-awaited transformation of the telecom industry.  By the end of 2025, Ericsson predicts that 65% of the world’s population will boast 2.6 billion subscribers to 5G service and 5G will conduct 45% of the world’s data traffic. 5G will also comprise 29% of all mobile subscribers in 2025. 

Here are 6 communication trends gleaned from the Mobility Report:

  • Over the past year, service providers continued the trend to move their services to VoLTE (Voice over LTE). As of the 2019 report, 90 countries saw VoLTE launched in over 200 networks.
  • At the end of 2019, VoLTE was estimated at 2.1 billion subscriptions. The report says it expects VoLTE to be 6.4 billion by the end of 2025. VoLTE will underpin 5G voice calls, SMS, and new communication services and devices developed for 5G. 
  • There are more than 2,500 VoLTE enabled devices in the world. The latest devices include Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) which gives improved music and audio over VoLTE models, including 5G smartphones. So far, 20 service providers employ EVS.
  • Service providers have also added voice capability to speakers that use the same phone number as the subscriber’s smartphone.
  • Over 80 service providers currently add voice service to cellular smartwatches.
  • Video calling over LTE (ViLTE) is on the rise.  Around 20 networks provide ViLTE and there are 395 ViLTE enabled devices.

South Korea Leads in 5G.

All service providers in Korea put 5G in motion in April 2019.  The new 5G services provide upgraded broadband mobile service for consumers that includes virtual reality, augmented reality, and superior streaming. China has also committed early to 5G communications and 5G devices. China’s commitment to 5G is much faster than its commitment to LTE at the end of the last decade.  By October 2019, China had 10 million 5G subscribers.

During the transition to 5G, LTE is expected to peak in 2022 with 5.4 billion subscribers. The numbers will then begin a downward slope as 5G subscriptions increase. At the end of 2025, LTE is expected to fall to only 4.8 billion subscriptions.

Smartphones Continue to Grow.

By the end of 2019, Ericsson expected that smartphone subscriptions number 5.6 billion. In fact, 70% of all mobile subscribers have smartphones. By 2025, those numbers will increase with smartphone users accounting for 83% of all mobile subscribers and smartphone subscriptions rising to 7.4 billion.

The Middle East and Africa.

Over 70 countries make up the Middle East and Africa region. The region has some markets with 100% mobile broadband subscriptions, The emerging markets, on the other hand, consist of only 40% mobile broadband subscriptions. At the end of 2019, 25% of mobile broadband in the Middle East/North Africa segment is LTE while it is only 11% in sub-Saharan Africa. By 2025, Ericsson says that 82% of subscriptions in the Middle East/North Africa segment will be mobile broadband while the Sub-Saharan sector will increase to 70% mobile broadband. The components of this increase in broadband are an increasing youth population with digital expertise as well as an increase in more affordable smartphones.

To learn more about changes coming in the telecom industry, see the 2020 article from netfortis.com entitled “4 Telecommunications trends to watch in 2020.”

To talk more about the Ericsson Mobility Report, or anything else, please contact us.  We are happy to answer all your questions on issues related to the telecom industry.


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