Mobile broadband traffic is driven by users with dongles and embedded laptops

Global mobile data traffic almost tripled in the past year, growing ten times faster than voice traffic, according to statistics released by Swedish vendor Ericsson on Thursday. The firm said that, based on measurements it has made of real network traffic around the world, global mobile data traffic stands at 225,000 terabytes per month as of the second quarter of 2010.

Earlier this year the firm reported that total data traffic exceeded total voice traffic in volume for the first time in December 2009. The firm said that, despite the rapid growth in data volumes, just ten per cent of total mobile subscriptions worldwide are mobile broadband subscriptions.

“The growth and benefits of mobile broadband are undeniable,” said Ericsson’s Senior Vice President, chief technology officer. “The business model for mobile broadband is becoming one of increasing profitability and competitive differentiation through superior quality of service. Operator’s focus on end-to-end converged IP networks is key to addressing the dramatic traffic growth, while reducing costs and improving the user experience.”

Informa Telecoms & Media has forecast that global mobile broadband traffic will reach 14 exabytes during 2014. By the end of 2010, the analyst house predicts, mobile broadband subscribers worldwide will number 450 million, which will represent a 45 per cent share of the global broadband market.

Next year, said Informa, the mobile broadband market will overtake its fixed counterpart, growing to 670 million subscribers, and 51.8 per cent of the overall broadband market. Despite a healthy CAGR of 12 per cent between 2008 and 2013, Informa predicts, the fixed market’s share of global broadband subscribers will drop by half over the forecast period from 70 per cent to 35 per cent.

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