Ericsson in its latest Mobility Report has highlighted how Internet of Things (IoT) is set to overtake mobile phones as the largest category of connected device by 2018.
Between 2015 and 2021, the number of IoT connected devices is expected to grow 23% annually, of which cellular IoT is forecast to have the highest growth rate.
Of the 28 billion total devices that will be connected by 2021, close to 16 billion will be IoT devices.
Smartphone subscriptions continue to increase and are forecast to surpass those for basic phones in Q3 this year. By 2021, smartphone subscriptions will almost double from 3.4 billion to 6.3 billion.
Detailed in the report is a dramatic shift in teen viewing habits: use of cellular data for smartphone video grew 127% in just 15 months (2014-15). Over a period of four years (2011-15) there has been a 50% drop in the time teens spend watching TV/video on a TV screen, and in contrast an 85% increase in those viewing TV/video on a smartphone.
In 2016, a long anticipated milestone is being passed with commercial LTE networks supporting downlink peak data speeds of 1 Gbps. Devices that support 1 Gbps are expected in the second half of 2016, initially in markets such as Japan, US, South Korea and China, but rapidly spreading to other regions.
A global growth story: mobile broadband subscriptions will grow fourfold in the Middle East and Africa between 2015 and 2021; mobile data traffic in India will grow fifteen times by 2021; and despite being the most mature market, US mobile traffic will grow 50% in 2016 alone.
Data traffic continues unabated growth: global mobile data traffic grew 60% between Q1 2015 and Q1 2016, due to rising numbers of smartphone subscriptions and increasing data consumption per subscriber. By the end of 2021, around 90% of mobile data traffic will be from smartphones.
LTE subscriptions grew at a high rate during Q1 2016: there were 150 million new subscriptions during the quarter – driven by demand for improved user experience and faster networks – reaching a total of 1.2 billion worldwide. LTE peak data speeds of 1 Gbps are anticipated to be commercially available in 2016.