5G means mobile operators face five-fold rise in video

Mobile operators face five-fold rise in video by 2025 thanks to 5G

20 January 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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The world’s carriers will be delivering 160 billion gigabytes of mobile data a month by 2025 – of which more than three-quarters will be video – and video will go up five-fold by 2025.

This total is more than four times the monthly load of mobile data delivered in 2019, according to figures revealed today at a Malaysian government conference by the president of the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).

Demand is being driven by the rapid roll out of 5G mobile technology, said Joe Barrett, a former Nokia and Qualcomm executive who has headed the GSA for five years. “5G roll out is happening faster than 4G,” said Barrett. “5G is a technology step change with enhanced mobile broadband.”

The figures Barrett presented to the closed conference show that last year mobile operators delivered 38 exabytes (EB) of data each month to their customers, of which 63% (24EB) was video.

With 5G, they will deliver 160EB a month in 2025, predicted Barrett, of which 76% (122EB) will be video. That rise represents a five-fold increase in mobile video in just five years.

The GSA information, sourced from Ericsson, shows that the rise in mobile data delivered by 2G, 3G and 4G networks will start to flatten out this year, but 5G-delivered data is beginning a sharp increase. By 2025, almost half of all mobile data will be delivered to users via 5G.

Barrett told the meeting that by the end of last year 348 operators in 119 countries had announced they were investing in 5G, and 77 operators had announced that they had deployed 3GPP compliant 5G technology in their networks.

A total of 61 operators in 34 countries had launched one or more 3GPP-compliant 5G services, added Barrett. “Of those, 49 operators had launched 3GPP-compliant 5G mobile services (46 full launches, three limited availability launches); 34 operators had launched 3GPP-compliant 5G FWA or home broadband services (27 full launches, seven limited availability launches).”

The GSA – unconnected with the GSMA – represents suppliers of 3GPP mobile technology, including Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung.