The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, published early this month, reveals that the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to overtake mobile phones as the largest category of connected device by 2018.
arabia.technology speaks with Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Region Middle East and Africa, about this important report.
arabia.technology: How often do you release Ericsson Mobility Report and is it updated on yearly basis?
Rafiah Ibrahim: Traffic and market data insights are shared on a regular basis. The next full report will be released in Q4 2016. It would be the tenth issue of Ericsson Mobility Report where we share forecast data and analysis of traffic, subscriptions and consumer behavior to provide insights into current market trends.
Ericsson always refer to the latest issue of Ericsson Mobility Report for the most up-to-date figures. Data and conclusions from feature articles and some data from previous issues may still be valid.
Ericsson has performed in-depth data traffic measurements in mobile networks from the world’s largest installed base of live networks.
arabia.technology:Why does Ericsson focus on performing in-depth data traffic measurement in mobile networks?
RI: Ericsson has performed comprehensive data traffic measurement in mobile networks from the world’s largest installed base in over of 100 live networks in all major regions of the world.
Detailed measurements are made in a selected number of commercial WCDMA/HSPA and LTE networks with the purpose of analyzing various mobile traffic patterns and aiming for solutions and products with superior product solutions. Understanding the traffic volumes and patterns are crucial to improve product development and network dimensioning and optimization. In these measurements Ericsson works together with operators as well as directly towards device manufacturers and application providers.
arabia.technology: What is the main demonstrated forecasts applied in the tenth issue of Ericsson Mobility Report?
RI:The forecast displayed in Ericsson Mobility Report are about subscriptions not subscribers. However, there is a big difference between the number of subscriptions and subscribers. This is due to the fact that many subscribers have several subscriptions (an offered range of services). Reasons for this could include users lowering their traffic cost by using optimized subscriptions for different types of calls, maximizing coverage and having different subscriptions for mobile PCs/tablets and for mobile phones.
The forecasts displayed in Ericsson Mobility Report are about subscriptions not subscribers. If he only has a 3G phone, i.e. not capable of connecting to a LTE network he is counted as having a WCDMA/HSPA subscription. If he would have had an LTE capable phone with the above subscription, it would have been counted as a LTE subscription.
arabia.technology: What is the reason for the expected growth in smart subscriptions in the Middle East and Africa and how is it measured?
RI: Ericsson is updating its forecasts regularly, always taking into consideration the actual developments and market condition. Medium-to-high income subscribers in the region are exchanging their basic phone subscriptions into smartphone subscriptions. Key drivers for the stronger uptake also include the availability of low-end, affordable smartphones and the limited access to fixed broadband. It is measured based on subscriptions for mobile phones, USB dongles, PC-cards, embedded modules for laptops/notebooks, mobile routers and tablets.
arabia.technology: Why is connected devices a significant aspect in this research and how many devices are there in the market today?
RI: Internet of things is becoming an important reality, Ericsson publishes its forecasts to help stakeholders in the ecosystem to understand the opportunities and challenges. In total there are around 15 million connected devices including mobile phones IoT non-cellular devices, PCs/laptops/tablets, fixed phones and IoT cellular devices.