Ericsson: Two-thirds of mobile traffic dominated by just five apps

App developers are always hoping to boost engagement, but to do so they'll have to become one of a handful of apps that make up most of the world's mobile traffic, according to recent research from Ericsson. The Ericsson Mobility Report looks at smartphone and tablet usage around the world to identify patterns in usage. 

  • Two-thirds of app data traffic over mobile networks comes from top five apps in each country studied, with video streaming and social networking dominating.
  • Total mobile video traffic of next six years will be around 17 times that of last six years.
  • Q4 2014: LTE subscriptions achieved higher net additions, with 110 million, than WCDMA/HSPA for the first time.  
  • FY 2014: 800 million smartphone subscriptions added worldwide taking the total number to 2.7 billion, up 40 percent from a total of 1.9 billion subscriptions in 2013.

"Despite clear general trends, each nation displays its own unique preferences," the report said. "For example, in December 2014, the U.S. top three included Netflix and YouTube, while South Korea was notable for peer-to-peer TV app AfreecaTV and home-grown search portal NAVER. Facebook was the number one app in each country studied."

Though the footprint of the most popular apps may be depressing for smaller indie developers trying to get noticed, the Ericsson report shows there is still a lot of room for growth. In some respects, the data here could provide greater validation for those who are thinking beyond their own borders when they launch or market an app. Depending on the usage patterns, localization to specific markets might give developers a greater return on investment. In terms of app types, meanwhile, the research suggested streaming video will continue to be huge in terms of time spent on mobile devices, so developers who can think outside the standard Netflix/YouTube model may also have a chance to shine. 

For more:
- get the report here

Related Stories
Report: 8 p.m. is the overall deadline for mobile app marketing
Report: 'Zombie' apps are overwhelming Apple's App Store