London, UK, Lichtenau/Baden, Germany, 10th October 2017 – LS telcom today announces the publication of a report entitled “When will exponential mobile growth stop?”
Richard Womersley, Director Spectrum Consulting of LS telcom, explained the rationale for the study, “Exponential growth cannot continue indefinitely as the result would be that whatever is growing will eventually reach an infinite size. We wanted to examine more closely how future mobile data traffic will really evolve and whether current estimates of continuing exponential growth until at least 2030 are valid, in order to inform ongoing activities to identify new spectrum bands for 5G.”
LS telcom experts first calculated how much data an individual may be able to consume to determine what a finite limit to mobile data usage might be. This resulted in the surprising conclusion that even using extreme values for potential personal data use (such as every person on the planet streaming Ultra-High Definition 4K video for 16 hours per day), the majority of growth in mobile data traffic would still be complete by the late 2020s.
Secondly, the study examined the growth in mobile data usage in a number of advanced countries where users are already ‘ahead of the curve’ with respect to their usage of mobile data. Three countries were identified where mobile data growth is already showing signs of slowing down and in each case, it is clear that the reason for this slow down is not related to spectrum availability. In these countries, there may only be a factor of three to four times mobile data traffic growth remaining, according to the report. This appears to be a trend. The study also surmises that data growth only continues to show exponential characteristics in those countries where digital divides remain or where connectivity is still being rolled out.