2020 Vision: Smartphones dominate mobile use, video an everyday habit for many

mobile video

Nearly 65% of all mobile subscriptions in North America are for mobile phones, with about 80% of users saying they access streaming video on the devices, sometimes everyday.

The report, from Ericsson, forecast that smartphone subscriptions would continue to grow, but suggested that surging tablet sales use would take a bigger piece of market share over time. Some 97% of U.S. households now own at least one mobile phone, Ericsson said.

In the U.S. and Canada, there were 260 million subscriptions for smartphones, mobile PCs, tablets, and mobile routers, a number that was expected to reach 300 million – a 20% increase – by the end of this year. And, the report said, those mobile connections are expected to reach 450 million by 2020.

Among smartphone owners, streaming video is significant, with close to 80% of all smartphone owners say they stream video “at least occasionally.”

But it’s the regular use of smartphones as a video consumption device that is most noteworthy.

Ericsson found that about 40% of smartphone owners stream video at least weekly, which close to 30% say they stream video several times a week.

About one-in-five smartphone owners say they stream video at least daily, with some 10% saying they stream video several times a day.

That propensity to stream is likely to increase as more content – from providers like HBO, CBS and news outlets – is made available over-the-top and through easier-to-access TV Everywhere offerings.

The increase in devices is expected to push smartphone traffic to 6 GB a month by 2020, up from 1.6 GB this year.

Total mobile data traffic in North America is expected to exceed 3 ExaBytes (EB) per month, 5X more than today.

Today, Americans are more connected than ever, with 90% of households having at least three connected devices. About 10% have 10 or more connected devices and nearly half (47%) report five or more devices.

Worldwide, Ericsson said, 90% of the global population over 6 years old will have a mobile telephone by 2020, with smartphone subscriptions expected to top 6.1 billion.