New research from WiseHarbor forecasts that mobile broadband will experience average usage of several gigabytes per month by 2020.
"The average person in 10 years time is going to be a smartphone user or have some sort of tablet device, or both, and is going to be using gigabytes of data per month," said Keith Mallinson, in an interview with FierceBroadbandWireless. He's revealing the details of his firm's research at the LTE World Summit in Amsterdam this week.
Meanwhile, while data traffic grows more than 1,000-fold, operator revenue yield per megabyte will decline dramatically from $100 with SMS, $1 in voice and 10 cents with mobile data in 2010 to one-tenth of a cent with data predominating in 2025 (global averages including postpaid and prepaid plans), Mallinson predicts. LTE is set to become the leading mobile technology by about the end of the decade, he added.
"The prices will plummet and the revenue yield per unit of traffic carried will go down," Mallinson said. "But looking at the overall market per revenue on a global basis, that metric will grow in a healthy way because operators are adding data to the voice business ... Operators will come up with different ways of charging for data."
Mallinson's firm also predicts that mobile device sales will grow from 1.6 billion units in 2010 to 3.9 billion in 2025 including phones, new personal devices such as tablets and a wide variety of machines, such as cars and utility meters, which are currently mostly unconnected. Handset revenues will flatten, approaching 2015, following current buoyancy in average selling prices with the smartphone surge. Total global mobile connections in service will rise to 21.5 billion (2.7 per head of population) by 2025.
WiseHarbor reaffirmed its forecast findings published one year ago that predicted TD-LTE precipitating the demise of WiMAX, which will peak by 2015. Since last year's forecast, a number of Indian operators have decided to deploy TD-LTE, China Mobile has begun trials, and European operators, sitting on a significant amount of unpaired spectrum, are poised to deploy the technology.
- see this release
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