By Stephanie Roxas
Mobile data traffic in Southeast Asia and Oceania is expected to accelerate as much as eleven times by 2022, according to a research report of telecom gear maker Ericsson.
Sean Gowran, president and country manager of Ericsson Philippines and Pacific Islands, said during a media briefing that across the Asia Pacific, 4G (LTE) will represent 55 percent of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2022.
Coverage in the Philippines, in terms of network speed, has also seen an increase compared in 2016, according to the report.
Mobile browsing of at least 1 Mbps has increased by 82 percent from 69 percent in the first quarter last year. Video streaming with 5 Mbps also showed an increase of 49 percent from 35 percent, while high-definition (HD) video rose to 29 percent from 19 percent in the first quarter of 2016.
Internet of Things (IoT) subscriptions are also expected to rise more than four-fold between 2016 and 2022 and is anticipated to reach 180 million during the period, the report noted.
The research also revealed that the continuing industry digitization will lead to more potential revenues. Key sectors include automotive, energy and utilities, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, media and entertainment, public safety, and transport. Energy and utilities has the highest total of revenue and is expected to earn almost P16 billion by 2026.
The report suggested that mobile service providers who are looking to expand into IoT should assess business opportunities and connectivity requirements, as use cases will govern what type of combination of connectivity will be most suitable in each case.
The report also showed that cellular is expected to become the bridge to connect long-range IoT devices by 2022.
One of the main highlights of the report is the shift of human-drive buses to 5G-controlled vehicles. Gowran said that the older buses, cars, taxis, and trucks will be replaced over time with driver-less vehicles on cities across the Pacific.
“It will be basically like a virtual train. All these trucks are not connected physically but they are connected virtually in the cloud. And this reduces traffic accidents on the road, the wind resistance on the trucks to improve fuel consumption, and reduces cost,” Gowran said.
He said the effect of technology adoption on job security on a labor-driven country like the Philippines will not be immediate and will be generally gradual.
“There’s a revolution in the workforce. These technology revolutions that we see are not necessarily 5G itself but basically the increase and dependency on information communication technology (ICT). As we increase our dependency on this technology, we increase the efficiency of our lives. Some jobs will become obsolete and new jobs will be integrated,” Gowran said.
Gowran also said the adoption of ICT is critical for all segments of the population. He said people with lower income will also be able to use 5G technology due to the lowering data rates and continuing decrease of smartphone prices in the country.