Eyes on APAC

Nov 28 2018   12:00PM GMT

China is growth engine for mobile data traffic

Aaron Tan Aaron Tan Profile: Aaron Tan

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Being the world’s largest mobile market, China has unsurprisingly topped the charts when it comes to the growth in mobile data traffic.

According to the latest figures from Ericsson, mobile data traffic in China during the third quarter of 2018 grew close to 79% year-on-year – the highest rate since 2013.

In fact, the increased data-traffic-per-smartphone in Northeast Asia – mainly in China – has pushed the global figure notably higher.

And with traffic growth per smartphone of around 140% between end 2017 and end 2018, Northeast Asia has the second highest data traffic per smartphone at 7.3GB per month. This is comparable to streaming HD video for around 10 hours per month.

The appetite for mobile data is likely to increase once the first 5G networks are ready.

In Northeast Asia, 5G subscriptions are forecast to account for over 43% percent of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2024.

Among enterprises, the uptake of NB-IoT and LTE Cat-M1 technologies will also drive the growth in the number of cellular IoT connections worldwide.

Of the 4.1 billion cellular IoT connections forecast for 2024, Northeast Asia is expected to account for 2.7 billion – a figure reflecting both the ambition and size of the cellular IoT market in this region.

Industry players have certainly taken note of the huge potential of 5G in China.

Ericsson, for example, had teamed up with Intel, China Mobile Research Institute and China Mobile Jiangsu Company to make the first multi-vendor standalone (SA) 5G New Radio (NR) call in June 2018, accelerating the commercial deployment of standard-based 5G networks.

More recently, rival Nokia announced that it has signed three separate agreements worth more than €2bn with China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.

Under the agreements, Nokia will deploy technologies and services to improve performance in fixed and mobile broadband networks across China.

Mike Wang, president of Nokia Shanghai Bell, said: “We are excited to continue our close collaboration with these important customers in China, to drive new levels of network performance as they transition toward 5G.

“Leveraging the breadth of our end-to-end network and services capabilities, we will work closely with China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom to deploy technologies that meet their specific business needs.”

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