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Serving more users, better devices, rising expectations

Delivering Gigabit LTE capabilities is one key way operators can meet the continuing growth in mobile broadband subscriber numbers and traffic, match the features of ever more advanced devices, and meet rising user expectations.

According to the June 2017 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, mobile broadband continues to grow strongly. Total traffic in mobile networks increased by 70 percent between the end of Q1 2016 and the end of Q1 2017, driven principally by the desire to view and share video in even higher volumes, in HD and increasingly in 4K quality.

On average, more than one million new mobile broadband subscribers will be added every day up to the end of 2022. In emerging markets alone, 4G LTE subscriptions are expected to grow by 1.6 billion up to 2021. This alone will create a huge new demand for LTE capacity and coverage.

To meet these demands profitably, operators will need to deliver higher speeds, more capacity, and improved spectrum utilization – at lower cost per gigabyte and lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

As video sharing, social media and collaboration grow in prevalence in mobile networks, users themselves are increasingly aware of the need for good network performance. The most obvious signs of high performance are high download speeds, instantaneous response and faster upload capabilities – especially when it comes to video.

Users now expect their HD video streaming to work well both in the home and when on the move.

One key driver for Gigabit LTE is the availability of new devices that can take advantage of such speeds. There are already Gigabit LTE-capable smartphones and mobile routers on the market, and several more are about to be launched.

Ericsson Mobility Report insights on mobile data growth

Mobile subscriptions Q1 2017

LTE subscriptions reached a total of 2.1 billion in Q1 2017.

Mobile subscriptions outlook

5G subscriptions will exceed half a billion by the end of 2022.

Mobile traffic by application category

In 2022, video will account for around 75 percent of mobile data traffic.