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Video Will Make Up 70% of Mobile Traffic by 2021, Says Ericsson

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Mobile video will continue to see strong growth for the next five years, predicts the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. The communications giant says that mobile traffic will rise by about a 55 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2021, when it will comprise roughly 70 percent of all mobile data traffic. Video shows the strongest growth rate of any category, followed by social networking at 41 percent and audio at 37 percent. The increased use of embedded video on social networks and web pages is helping to drive mobile video's growth.

YouTube is the largest player in mobile video, making up 50 to 70 percent of traffic on most mobile networks. Netflix typically comprises 10 to 20 percent of mobile traffic in areas where it offers service, Ericsson finds.

The report finds large differences in how different age groups enjoy video. While teens watch the same amount of video as older groups, they watch far more of it on phones. Teen video viewing on phones grew by 85 percent between 2011 and 2015, while their traditional TV viewing fell by half. By far, most video app traffic—over 85 percent—runs over Wi-Fi in the home. Wi-Fi data use is growing dramatically faster than cellular data use.

For more findings, download the full Ericsson Mobility Report for free (no registration needed).

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