Thanks to the rapid expansion of LTE, smartphone users today are blowing through more data than ever before. From watching Netflix videos to streaming Spotify for hours on end, there are certainly no shortage of ways by which users can easily and quickly push the upper threshold of their monthly data caps.

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Over the last five years, it’s been astounding to witness how smartphone usage habits have changed drastically, in large part due to advances in mobile communication technologies coupled with a wider selection of mobile-based services and applications. Looking ahead over the next five years, the demands we place upon our smartphones will likely continue to evolve in dramatic fashion.

According to the recently published Ericsson Mobility Report, the average smartphone user in 2021 is projected to churn through 8.9 GB of data every single month. In contrast, the average smartphone user today uses about 1.4 GB of data every month. This increase, the report notes, will result from an increase in the number of smartphones in use along with a broader 4G LTE coverage. Also worth noting is that some carriers will begin rolling out support for 5G speeds by 2020.

“The growth in mobile data traffic is due to both the rising number of smartphone subscriptions, in particular for LTE smartphones, and increasing data consumption per subscriber,” the report notes. “This is forecast to result in a ten-fold increase in total traffic for all devices by the end of 2021. “

Per the chart below, smartphone users in North America and Western Euope will account for the biggest jump in monthly data usage.

smartphone data usage region

And not surprisingly, video is projected to account for the bulk of data usage, followed by social networking apps and audio streaming.

smartphone traffic by application

You can check out Ericsson’s full report via the source link below.

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