The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a rapid shift of network traffic from business to residential areas, Ericsson Mobility Report for June 2020 states. The annual report says the largest change in terms of traffic has been absorbed by fixed residential networks which have registered a growth of 20-100 per cent. This is in contrast to the 10-20 per cent demand spike for mobile networks, the report says, attributing the shift to work from home policies across the world.
Pointing to a recent study by its own Ericsson Consumer Lab, one-third of the respondents from 11 countries said they plan to invest in 5G and improved broadband for their homes as they want to be prepared for a potential second wave of COVID-19. As many as 83 per cent out of the total respondents said ICT helped them a lot during the lockdown phases of their respective countries.
The photo above, showing the density of mobile network users in Paris two weeks before and after its lockdown in mid-March, establishes that users were relying less on their mobile networks while in lockdown mode. In its detailed report, Ericsson states this pattern has been seen everywhere across the world during respective lockdowns.
Out of the majority share of the 20-100 per cent traffic increase absorbed by fixed residential networks, 90 per cent was due to an increase in VoWiFi calls, whereas, the rest was an increase due to the usage of streaming services. The 10-20 per cent change in mobile services was due to an increase in usage of FWA services, an increase in VoLTE calls and an increase in the usage of streaming services.
According to the report, mobile broadband technologies accounted for 58 per cent of mobile subscriptions in 2019 in India. However, we are now supposed to see a sharp rise and by 2025, they are predicted to account for 82 per cent of total mobile subscriptions, exceeding one billion in terms of numbers. Patrik Cerwall, Head of Strategic Marketing Insights and Executive Editor of the Ericsson Mobility Report said, “5G will represent around 18 per cent of mobile subscriptions at the end of 2025.”
It states that LTE will remain the dominant technology throughout 2025 with a market share in total mobile subscriptions of 64 per cent. The total traffic is expected to triple with around 21EB being consumed per month by 2025.
Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice-President and Head of Networks, Ericsson said “5G was made for innovation and this crisis has highlighted the true value of connectivity and the role it can play in restarting economies.”
Ericsson states that the “combination of 5G and digitalisation creates new opportunities for service providers to build and extend their businesses beyond connectivity.” India has already started work on getting 5G to the country, with the auctions being set and service providers partnering with companies like Ericsson and Nokia to power their 5G networks.
Nitin Bansal, Head of Network Solutions, Southeast Asia, Oceania and India said, “It is key to invest in 4G in India, to excel in 5G. Here, private networks represent a very important first step and fundamental to building momentum in serving a wide array of 5G-enabled use cases. Mobile technology is an unmatched connectivity foundation for the digital transformation of any industry, and any product, anywhere in the world.”
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