3 interesting new findings on global mobile usage you need to know

February 22, 2016
3 min read
Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.zicta.zm/">ZICTA</a> / <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/22294215@N06/14434582056/">michael pollak</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

I must say that where the world technology is concerned, there’s never a moment of soft pedaling on innovation or an ending to surprises for the manner of speaking. Launching over the weekend, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) edition of the Ericsson Mobility report revealed the impact of different levels of network performance on smartphone users and their perceptions of mobile operators and digital content providers.

Let’s take you through the major highlight of this report, but I must add that you’d be in for quite a great deal of surprise.

Smooth browsing and video streaming increase Net Promoter Scores (NPS)

In the report Ericsson claims to have introduced a neuroscience study by Ericsson ConsumerLab that captured objective reactions to varied levels of network performance while using a smartphone. Brain activity, eye movements, and pulse were recorded while subjects completed various tasks by browsing the web and watching video clips. Changes in the perception of mobile network operators and content providers before and after network usage experiences were also measured. Participants were exposed to a high degree of delays, a medium degree of delays or no delays at all while they completed tasks, allowing a detailed analysis of how the duration and extent of delays affected emotional engagement and stress.

The results help to uncover how variations in network performance can impact consumer experience and ultimately affect brand equity.


A two second delay in loading a YouTube video increases stress by three percentage points, poor network performance increases smartphone users’ heart rate and stress levels. Once a video begins, a single pause due to re-buffering can cause stress levels to increase 15 additional percentage points and Moderate time-to-content and re-buffering delays lead to a four point drop in NPS on average

While likening this to a real life situation, delays in web page load time and video streaming can be as stressful as watching a horror movie. On the other hand, if there are no such delays, we unconsciously become more satisfied with our mobile service provider.

Patience is a virtue afterall, but obviously not for internet users.

Video streaming remains the largest mobile data traffic generator, followed by social networking

The growth in video traffic is boosted mainly by the growing availability and popularity of video content services, devices with larger and higher resolution screens, high performing networks enabling a better experience and changing user behaviour. We however have shared more online now than we have ever done before, and with the increased penetration of smartphones, it is very convenient to access social media platforms.

Mobile subscriptions went up in Q4 2015

The total number of mobile subscriptions at the end of 2015 was around 7.3 billion, an increase of 68 million subscriptions during Q4 2015, and with a prediction of an additional 3 billion smartphone subscriptions by the end of 2021.

Talking of smartphones, they accounted for around 75 percent of all mobile phones sold worldwide. Today around 45 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions are associated with smartphones, compared with around 40 percent in 2014.

Global mobile subscriptions are growing around 3 percent year-on-year. India grew the most in terms of net additions during the quarter (+21 million), followed by China (+6 million), the US (+5 million), Myanmar (+5 million), and Nigeria (+3 million), thus making list of the top 5 countries with increased mobile subscription.

The number of mobile broadband is also not left out, growing globally by around 25 percent year-on-year, increasing by approximately 200 million in Q4 2015 alone.

LTE subscriptions also continue to grow strongly and the total figure has reached around 1 billion subscriptions, with approximately 160 million additions in Q4 2015. WCDMA/HSPA added around 30 million during Q4. The majority of 3G/4G subscriptions have access to GSM/EDGE as a fallback, and GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions declined by 90 million.

The ongoing MWC is holding in Barcelona, Spain, as Ericsson is showcasing its unique industry insights and latest innovation across the globe.

Ifeanyi is a desk reporter-turned administrator. Outside of work, I love to read and travel.
Ifeanyi is a desk reporter-turned administrator. Outside of work, I love to read and travel.
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Ifeanyi is a desk reporter-turned administrator. Outside of work, I love to read and travel.

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