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Mobile data traffic increased almost 300-fold over 10 years

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NEW DELHI: Ericsson global insights reveal an almost 300-fold increase in mobile data traffic since 2011 – the year in which Ericsson Mobility Report was first published. The findings, based on current and historical network data, are included in the special ten-year edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report November 2021.

The report looks back at some of the key trends and events that have shaped the last decade, as well as revealing the latest forecasts toward 2027.

The premise that 5G will become the fastest deployed mobile generation to date has been enhanced with an updated estimate of close to 660 million 5G subscriptions by the end of this year. The increase is due to stronger than expected demand in China and North America, driven partly by decreasing prices of 5G devices. There was also a net addition of 98 million 5G subscriptions globally in Q3 2021, compared to 48 million new 4G subscriptions. At the end of 2021, it is estimated that 5G networks will cover more than two billion people.

According to the latest forecasts, 5G is on track to become the dominant mobile access technology, by subscriptions globally, by 2027. 5G is also expected to account for around 50 percent of all mobile subscriptions worldwide – covering 75 percent of the world’s population and carrying 62 percent of the global smartphone traffic by 2027.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says: “Mobile communication has had an incredible impact on society and business over the last ten years. When we look ahead to 2027, mobile networks will be more integral than ever to how we interact, live and work. Our latest Ericsson Mobility Report shows that the pace of change is accelerating, with technology playing a crucial role.”

Since 2011, the deployment of 4G LTE networks has been pivotal in generating 5.5 billion new smartphone connections worldwide, contributing to the market availability of more than 20,000 different 4G device models. This report indicates a much earlier technology lifecycle of 5G devices, with 5G handsets today accounting for 23 percent of global volumes, compared to 8 percent of 4G handsets at the corresponding point in its lifecycle.

This is helping to fuel an exponential growth of mobile data traffic. Mobile network data traffic was up 42 percent, year-on-year, in Q3 2021 accounting for approximately 78 exabytes (EB), including traffic generated by Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services. In Q3 alone, mobile data traffic was more than all mobile traffic ever generated up until the end of 2016. New forecasts reveal that total mobile network data traffic is likely to reach 370EB by the end of 2027.

The report also reveals that the nature of mobile connections is changing rapidly, contributing to the ongoing rise in mobile data traffic.

Broadband IoT has now surpassed 2G/3G as the segment that connects the largest share of IoT applications. It is expected to account for 47 percent of all cellular IoT connections by the end of 2021, compared to 37 percent for 2G/3G and 16 percent for Massive IoT technologies (NB-IoT and Cat-M).

New forecasts reaffirm the rapid acceleration of massive IoT deployments in coming years, spanning use cases such as e-health wearables, logistical asset tracking, environmental monitoring and smart meters, and smart manufacturing tracking and monitoring devices. Massive IoT deployments are forecast to account for 51 percent of all cellular IoT connections by 2027.

In the same forecast period, FWA connections are forecast to grow almost threefold – from 88 million by the end of 2021, to around 230 million in 2027. Almost half of these connections are expected to be carried over 5G networks.

 

India Outlook

5G will represent around 39 percent of mobile subscriptions in India at the end of 2027, estimated at about 500 million subscriptions. The number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to be 810 million at the end of 2021 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7 percent, reaching over 1.2 billion by 2027. Smartphone subscriptions accounted for 70 percent of total mobile subscriptions in 2021 and are projected to constitute around 94 percent in 2027, driven by rapid smartphone adoption in the country.

 

4G is expected to remain the dominant technology in India in 2027, however the 4G subscriptions are forecast to drop from 790 million in 2021 to 710 million in 2027, showing an annual average decline of 2 percent. Thus, 4G subscriptions are expected to reduce from 68 percent of mobile subscriptions in 2021 to 55 percent in 2027 as subscribers migrate to 5G.

 

The reliance on mobile networks to stay connected and work from home has contributed to the average traffic per smartphone increasing to 18.4GB per month in 2021, up from 16.1GB per month in 2020. The average traffic per smartphone in the India region is the second-highest globally and is projected to grow to around 50GB per month in 2027. Total mobile data traffic in India has grown from 9.4EB per month in 2020 to 12EB per month in 2021 and is projected to increase by more than 4 times to reach 49EB per month in 2027.

States Nitin Bansal, Head of Ericsson India and Head of Network Solutions for South east Asia, Oceania and India, Ericsson ”5G will serve as a socio-economic multiplier for the country and we are preparing the communication service providers for a seamless introduction of 5G in the country based on our global deployment experience , our innovative and competitive 5G portfolio as well as the 5G trials we are doing with Indian operators to showcase the possibilities with 5G.”

 

Ericsson recently carried out 5G trials with Airtel and Vi where it demonstrated enhanced mobile broadband and FWA use cases with 5G. Ericsson demonstrated blazing speeds of > 4Gbps with 5G during the trial with Vi in Pune . The Company also showcased the potential of 5G to revolutionize healthcare sector by enabling remote diagnostics. The highlight of the trial with Bharti Airtel was the demonstration of over 200 Mbps throughput on 3GPP-compliant 5G FWA device at distance of over 10 Km from the site. This translated into an inter-site (between two 5G sites) coverage of approximately 20 kms, thus offering the ability to provide high-speed broadband coverage even in the remotest of geographies.

 

Ericsson continues to introduce innovative 5G solutions that fuel the global uptake of 5G. Ericsson’s Time-Critical Communication is a software toolbox for resolving lags and interruptions in mobile networks. Ericsson also recently announced the launch of its ultra-lightweight antenna-integrated radio AIR 3268 – its latest addition to its Massive MIMO portfolio –– for easier and efficient 5G mid-

band deployments in dense urban and suburban areas. At 12 kg, AIR 3268 is the lightest and smallest Massive MIMO radio in the industry. With 200W output power, the radio weighs about 40 percent less than the earlier generation, making installations easy not only on towers and rooftops, but also on poles and walls. Ericsson’s latest radio is 10 percent more energy-efficient than the earlier generation, lowering the total added power consumption when introducing 5G on mid-band.

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Ericsson Showcases differentiated connectivity for the value of 5G

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Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) showcased its advanced 5G connectivity solutions and innovative 5G use cases based on differentiated connectivity at the Ericsson Imagine Live Roadshow today. Ericsson has announced the launch of a new software toolkit to strengthen 5G Standalone network capabilities and enable premium services with differentiated connectivity. The portfolio enhancement comes as the growth of new use cases and rising mobile user expectations on the quality of 5G experience are putting greater demands on network capacity and performance.

In the ‘Capture the value of 5G’ zone, experience sports like never before with the Enhanced Sports Experiences demo, where a feature-rich app allows sports clubs to engage directly with their vast fan bases, creating new revenue streams. Leveraging network slicing and APIs, service providers can ensure the ultimate fan experience and gain revenue share.In 2024, Ericsson is extending CSP slicing subscriptions to include micro-payments for short-term connectivity needs.

Another demo called Superior Uplink for Live streams, offers seamless real-time livestreaming via commercially available smart glasses, overcoming the hindrance of 5G upload speeds with Uplink Carrier Aggregation. This technology boosts upload speeds by combining frequencies, enhancing performance, promoting Standalone 5G adoption, and optimizing spectrum utilization.

In the ‘Programmable Networks’ zone, we’re showcasing how Ericsson is transforming the mobile network landscape by enabling elevated service differentiation for premium 5G experiences with Service Level Agreement assurance, revolutionizing CSP offerings. Ericsson’s new software toolkit with advanced RAN and Core capabilities empowers CSPs to seize growth opportunities by providing differentiated connectivity at scale. Another demo showcases how our RedCap technology supports CSPs’ business growth by reducing the complexity and size of device platforms for mid-tier use cases, expanding the 5G ecosystem to cater to diverse connectivity needs across consumer and enterprise/industrial segments on both FDD and TDD bands.

The ‘Enterprise Transformation’ zone showcases how critical infrastructure industries such as power plants, wind farms, and oil refineries can enhance worker safety and efficiency with our private 5G networks use case demos. Partnering with RealWear and OverIT, we enable secure, reliable, realtime access to complex data in order to provide an immersive connected worker experience for use in hazardous environments where accurate positioning and the ability to handle a high density of connected devices is required.

In the ‘Shape our Future Together’ zone, we’re building on the successful API showcase at Mobile World Congress 2023 with partners like Zoom and Blacknut. This year we are demonstrating high-demand use cases with world-leading brands such as Toyota and Sony using QoD API with network slicing. This underscores Ericsson’s thought leadership in the Network API and 5G monetization space, aligning with our strategy to build a platform business and our vision of industry cooperation with strong partners.

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Airtel announces its largest ever 5G roll-out in 125 cities

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NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel, India’s telecommunications services provider, today announced the launch of its ultra-fast 5G services in 125 cities. Airtel 5G Plus service is now available to customers in over 265 cities in the country.

Airtel 5G Plus has three compelling advantages for customers. First, it runs on a technology that has the widest acceptance in the world with the most developed ecosystem. This ensures that all 5G smartphones in India seamlessly work on the Airtel network. Second, the company promises to deliver the best experience – between 20 to 30 times higher speeds than today coupled with brilliant voice experience and super-fast call connect. Finally, Airtel 5G Plus network will also be kinder to the environment with its special power reduction solution. Powered by the reliable Airtel network infrastructure, Airtel 5G Plus will provide superfast access to High-Definition video streaming, gaming, multiple chatting, instant uploading of photos et all.

Commenting on the launch, Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel said, “5G has revolutionized the world of internet, ushering new era of connectivity and communications that will prove to be a game-changer for the country. At Airtel, we remain committed to delivering the highest quality of network and service to our customers as we roll-out 125 more cities today. Airtel was the first in the country to offer 5G services in October 2022, and today’s mega launch is our promise to connect every Airtel customer in the country with ultra-fast Airtel 5G Plus. Our 5G rollout is on track to cover all towns and key rural areas by March 2024.”

Airtel 5G Plus service availability will continue to rapidly expand – including service in all towns and villages in the country soon – as the company is working towards offering nationwide coverage. Airtel is now offering its 5G services in every major city from the upper northern city of Jammu to the southern tip of Kanyakumari.

In the last one year, Airtel has demonstrated the power of 5G with a host of powerful use cases that will change the way customers lead their lives and do business. From India’s first live 5G network in Hyderabad to India’s first private 5G network at the BOSCH facility in Bengaluru to partnering with Mahindra & Mahindra to make its Chakan manufacturing facility, India’s first 5G enabled auto manufacturing unit, Airtel has been at the forefront of 5G innovation.

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Apple rolls out beta programme for iPhones to enable 5G services

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NEW DELHI: Apple Inc has rolled out a beta programme to enable 5G on Apple devices as the upgrade lets users try out pre-release software.

This software upgrade enables 5G access on Apple devices, as and when service providers Jio, Airtel and Vodafone enable 5G network access, sources said.

Apple Users have to enrol for the Beta Programme on the website, install a profile and download the software.

Jio users using iPhone 12 and above, in cities where JioTrue5G has been rolled out, will be invited to the Jio Welcome Offer. Jio Welcome Offer provides unlimited 5G data at up to 1 Gbps speed to users at no additional cost. However, there is a condition that prepaid users must be on active Rs 239 and above plan. All Postpaid users are eligible for this trial.

Airtel is not providing any special 5G offer like Jio to their users. In the cities/areas in which the Airtel 5G network has been launched, users can trial 5G services as a part of their existing plan, once they have updated the latest Apple Beta software.

While an email sent to Apple did not solicit an immediate response, the firm had last month stated: “We are working with our carrier partners in India to bring the best 5G experience to iPhone users as soon as network validation and testing for quality and performance is completed. 5G will be enabled via a software update and will start rolling out to iPhone users in December”.

Airtel and Jio customers on iPhone 14, iPhone 13, iPhone 12 and iPhone SE (3rd generation) models can experience 5G as part of Apple’s iOS 16 Beta Software Program. The Apple Beta Software Program is open to anyone with a valid Apple ID who accepts the Apple Beta Software Program Agreement during the sign-up process.

If a user has an iCloud account, that is an Apple ID, it is recommended they use that. If they do not have an iCloud account or any other Apple ID, they can create one.

Customers who want to try the beta software should back up their iPhones before installing the beta software. It is recommended to install the beta software only on non-production devices that are not business-critical. Users can also provide feedback to Apple on quality and usability, which helps Apple identify issues, fix them, and make Apple software even better.

The iOS beta comes with the built-in Feedback Assistant app, which can be opened from the Home screen on the iPhone or iPad or from the Dock on the Mac.

Source: Press Trust of India

 

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