Ericsson predicts mobile broadband subscriptions to increase at a faster rate than mobile subscriptions with more than 3.4 billion subscribers predicted by 2015 from 360 million in 2009, mobile subscriptions in contrast have just passed the 5 billion mark, up from 720 million in 2000.
Ericsson reason that the growth is going to be driven by a combination of necessity and convenience citing reasons such as mobile subscriptions allowing “people who don’t have access to a bank or a bank account to transfer money; fishermen and farmers can get quick updates on sudden changes in the weather forecast, villagers to get local medical care, and children to access online education. It facilitates daily operations of small businesses and drives economic growth.”
Ericsson also predicts that 3.4 billion mobile broadband and the 5 billion mobile subscribers are probably going to be a fraction of the potential mobile connections. Ericsson points out that in more mature markets, connected devices rather than people, will be driving the increase in network traffic.
The connected devices will mostly be used for Machine-to-machine communications, or M2M, and this will be a key component in the future growth of the mobile industry. Examples include energy companies using smart meters that read themselves, to increase business efficiency and cut operational expenses. In transportation – tracking solutions for vehicles to improve route optimisation and safety for vehicles on the road. Digital signs that can be updated remotely, cameras that can send pictures halfway around the world and even a soda machine that requests restocking, and Ericsson envisages this total connected human and M2M market to hit as many as 50 billion connections within the decade.
So in 5iver years time when you get a missed call it’s probably not going to be your mum, it’s more likely to be your car asking your where you are and wouldn’t you like to go for a nice drive in the country.