Mobile user’s needs are on the rise and will continue by 2019. Based on the Cisco Visual Networking Index 2015, the number of mobile users globally is predicted to reach 5.2 billion by 2019 – more than 69% of the world’s population will be a mobile user. In terms of devices, Cisco estimates that in five years, there will be about 11.5 billion mobile devices and/or connections, of which 8.3 billion will be personal devices and 3.2 billion will be machine-to-machine connections.
It is extremely important that the average mobile user is expected to watch much more video, up from about three hours per month in 2014 to 30 hours by 2019, which Cisco predicts will drive 72% of mobile traffic, up from 55% in 2014.
Middle East and Africa (average annual mobile users growth rate 8,5%) growth followed by Asia Pacific (average annual mobile users growth rate 5%) lead the regional mobile users’ growth. YouTube traffic is exploding in the Middle East continuously engaging more users, and the high speed Asian networks excites mobile subscribers that continue to suck up loads of mobile video data.
The statistics are fascinating, but they also deserve a little closer examination. That increase in video watching, will add pressure to MNOs, that need to upgrade their infrastructure into LTE and LTE advanced networks in the following years. High speed backhaul links and small cells technologies should rise following that trend. MNOs should also be able to offer high quality of 4G+ experience especially in dense and rural areas.
Gigabit capacity on the street in the smallest form factor will continue to be on demand in the market starting by the end of 2015 reaching its peak by 2019. It is extremely important the solutions to be able to provide advanced networking, high capacity, and reliability at a compelling price. This innovation will continue to open up new vertical markets for microvawe wireless technologies including E-Band and millimeter wave.
We do agree with the WiFi offload finding, and that Wi-Fi will play a major role in offload. This trend has been already sensed in 2014. 46% of mobile data traffic was offloaded from dual-mode mobile devices – excluding laptops – that support both cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, which will be increased to 54% by 2019.
WiFi offload is rather a low forecast by 2019 when Cisco’s research pushes the WiFi Access Points, forecasting that voice-over-Wi-Fi (or Next Gen WiFi-calling) will surpass VoLTE by 2017. The VoWiFi should be rather a free service ideal for travelers or home subscribers. VoLTE and VoWiFi are clearly knocking on the door today, but only a few operators have already started to offer VoWiFi services. However, we are not that ambitious that this trend as Cisco highlights, will happen. In 2015 carriers will be more proactive in taking actions against Over The Top (OTT) revenue leakage including VoWiFi, by offering refined new services that appeal to more sophisticated consumer demands.
We believe that in a networked society, similar to a smart city, a VoLTE call should be able to provide a higher quality indoor and outdoor independently of the free WiFi service connectivity. VoWiFi should complement the VoLTE calls however today is really hard to predict consumer’s behavior as the VoWiFi service and the devices are rather limited and due to poor revenue model, most carriers are still skeptical.