Swisscom data use 2018 230

Wireless traffic growth is falling across the developed world, but the 2018 figure from Swisscom is lower than anything else I've seen. The Swiss figure may be an anomaly, but Cisco's VNI, a respected source, sees Western Europe growth in 2018 as 44% and North America 42%. In 2022, the Cisco projection is Western Europe 35% and North America 31%. 

Update 5/12 Iliad/Free in France announced 28% in 2018 (end) In the developed world, the era of exponential growth is long gone. 100% annual growth is now just a memory, that ended when most of the population acquired smartphones. In India and Africa, only a minority have smartphones today, so growth is higher.

Verizon and AT&T both estimate wireless productivity growth of ~40% per year. Traffic growth and declining cost per bit roughly match. The result: Cost per customer is roughly flat. If prices are roughly flat, which is common, profit will remain roughly constant. In 2017 & 2018, profit at most major telcos has risen slightly. That confirms the Verizon and AT&T productivity estimates. 

Analyses from Nokia, Sprint/T-Mobile, and many others assume traffic growth of 50-60% going forward. This is highly unlikely and the conclusions are meaningless. One Nokia projection makes that error and several others, resulting in a conclusion telcos must increase network spending or become seriously congested by about 2022. Actually, nearly all telcos should be fine through at least 2025 and probably 2030 at roughly constant capex. 

Which is great news unless you are an equipment vendor or trying to scare regulators. 

 ABCDEFGHI
1
                 
2
Mobile Data 2017 2018 growth 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

growth
2022

3
By Geography (EB per Month)  
4
Asia Pacific 5.88 10.35 76 15.91 22.81 31.81 43.17 36%
5
Middle East and Africa 1.22 2.05 68 3.25 5.01 7.56 11.17 48%
6
Eastern Europe 1.38 2.15 55 3.12 4.32 5.83 7.75 33%
7
North America 1.26 1.8 42 2.5 3.41 4.48 5.85 31%
8
Western Europe 1.02 1.47 44 2.06 2.81 3.8 5.12 35%
9
Latin America 0.75 1.18 57 1.72 2.42 3.31 4.44 34%
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Total (EB per Month)  
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Mobile data and Internet 11.51 19.01   28.56 40.77 56.8 77.49 36%
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Source: Cisco VNI, 2018              
          
                 

dave ask

@analysisbranch for latest updates

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Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers and say thank you when you find an error. daveb@dslprime.com

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