Good News! Our Mobile Internet Will Only Get Faster From Here!
June 6, 2012

Good News! Our Mobile Internet Will Only Get Faster From Here!

Michael Harper for

You know what they say...If you don´t like the weather in Texas, just wait a few minutes and it´ll change.

Now, it seems the same could be said of your internet connection. If you don´t like the speed of your mobile data connection – or don´t even have such mobile internet – just wait a few years, and it´ll change.

Swedish telecom company Ericsson released a report during a media event yesterday which said the next generation of wireless, 4G, will cover half the Earth by the year 2017. Ericsson named the bullish report “Traffic and Market Report: On the Pulse of the Networked Society,” and presented it in tech-savvy San Francisco, California.

Those who are left out of the 4G fun will still have access to high-speed 3G, as Ericsson also predicts over 85% of the Earth´s population will continue to be covered by today´s standard.

While there was an estimated 700 million smartphone toters as of 2011, there could be as many as 3 billion in 2017 as our thirst for constant communication and small-hand held computing drives us to buy these devices.

Ericsson isn´t making these predictions just for the sake of doing so. Understanding the adoption rates of smartphones and the high-speed networks on which they run is all about profit for Ericsson, who owns and builds out these networks. Ericsson, you may remember, is working together with Nokia to build out T-Mobile´s new 4G network.

“Today, people see access to the internet as a prerequisite for any device,” said Senior Vice President of Ericsson Douglas Gilstrap in their formal report.

“Operators recognize this business opportunity and are aiming to facilitate this growth and provide good user experience with fast data speeds through high capacity networks.”

Ericsson also attributed this huge surge towards always-connected phones and faster networks to three very predictable devices: Windows Phones, Android Phones and Apple´s iPhone.

Internet usage, as you might expect, is highest among these users.

In fact, thanks to these devices, Ericsson said mobile traffic almost doubled between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012.

Not only can we not get enough fast data on our smartphones, we also want to spread the mobile broadband love to our computers and tablets. All told, these mobile broadband subscriptions have grown by 60% year over year. In 5 years, Ericsson expects to be serving up its fresh and steamy high-speed goodness to 5 billion computers.

"It's important for us to understand because that is steering our investments," said Hans Vestberg, the President and CEO of Ericsson.

"Fifty percent of all smartphone traffic is going through Ericsson equipment."

It´s not just the really cool phones making us want a larger data pipe: Our phones´ ever growing screens are also a driving factor in our increasing data usage. In five years, expect laptop traffic to increase to 8 GB a month (up from 2 GB) and smartphone data to rise from 500 MB to 2 GB.

So, if you aren´t happy with your current mobile provider or the speed of your network, just wait a little longer and keep consuming. Eventually, the world will become a better place for you. Not just a better place, according to Ericsson, “A completely changed world.”