Predicting the future of mobile networks

Cellular and mobile networks play a growing role on today’s Internet with a growing fraction of the traffic produced or consumed in these networks. Every year, Ericsson publishes a mobility report that summarizes the recent statistics about these networks and makes some predictions.

The recently published 2023 Mobility report is an interesting read for students willing to understand the trends in cellular networks. As expected, most of the report focuses on 5G and its deployments with already 1.5 billions 5G subscribers worldwide, but there are a few points that are worth being highlighted:

  • 5G Fixed Wireless Access is being widely deployed as an Internet access technology to complement fiber, xDSL, cable and satellite solutions

    Fixed Wireless Access

  • a large fraction of the traffic is generated by a small fraction of the users. One tenth of the users generate 70 percent of the total traffic. Video corresponds to 60% of the traffic in the studied networks

    Traffic distribution

  • mobile traffic almost doubled in two years and the traffic consumed by each smartphone continues to grow. With FWA, the per-subscriber traffic will probably increase much faster

    Growth of smartphone traffic

The report also makes some predictions about the future and the evolution of the cellular and mobile networks. It will be interesting to read the statistics in the 2028 report to see whether this year’s predictions were right.

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Written on June 23, 2023