Rough statistics show us that Ericsson's prediction - which will probably come true to some extent soon - will place 14% of the world's population as mobile broadband users. Another way of looking at it - considering most home Internet users and mobile Internet users probably overlap - is that 50% of Internet users surf while on the road as well. Now, what does that mean to the guys who actually need to capitalize on this traffic?
- Mobile is growing - and that in itself is positive. Network providers and telecoms will see this growth impact their bottom lines, especially if they manage to oversell bandwidth plans to end-users.
- Service providers are pushing mobile as the next big thing - creating a lot of buzz, leveraging technology (4G?) and - generating a lot of interest. No-one publishes a Press Release for fun, and Ericsson prediction are part of that Marketing effort. In many ways - it is not the world that is going mobile - but the world's leading companies that are taking us there.
- The size factor. You have a smartphone, and probably know enough friends and family that have Smartphones too. How much video do you watch on your Smartphone? For how long? Mobile streaming video consumption is definitely on an uptrend, but - the amount of time spent watching video, and the screen sizes of Smartphones - make it a different volume "game" than home or office video consumption. Smartphone screen sizes can't increase significantly without it becoming too cumbersome to carry them around, so the maximum video bit-rate that will be used to stream to Mobile devices will not show the same growth Desktop video has had in the past few years. Since video is what really drives bandwidth, it is safe to assume actual mobile traffic consumption will plateau very soon. When then happens - service providers will have to shift where they make their money - from data to quality content perhaps, in order to continue growing. That's the size factor.