DAEJEON, Jan. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — A new study suggests that mobile traffic in South Korea will increase tenfold over the next six years amid growing demand for high quality video streaming services.
The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) announced on Wednesday a number of projections concerning telecom providers and data usage in the coming years, which revealed that mobile traffic will continue to increase until 2023, reaching 3.2 exabytes (EB).
The findings are based on the mobile data usage data in the past, and researchers made the projections after factoring in the number of mobile phone users and their data usage trends.
According to the researchers, forecasting models were developed for different types of mobile traffic, and reasonable suppositions were made based on network coverage, speed, and mobile data usage for video streaming.
As South Korean mobile carriers are set to trial 5G networks during the PyeongChang Olympics, with plans to commercialize them for the first time in the world next year, the research team forecasts the mobile traffic increase will be in large part thanks to high quality video streaming and downloads such as Full-HD 4K and 8K.
Given that one EB equals nearly 1.04 million terabytes, South Korea’s mobile traffic is on course for an exponential increase.
South Korea is among the most wired countries in the world, boasting one of the highest mobile penetration rates at 120 percent.
Nearly 8 in 10 users are currently using 4G networks, with the net data traffic currently estimated at 305 petabytes.
“The findings show we must start preparing for the ‘exabyte age.’ If the projection report is released on a yearly basis, it will be of great help in crafting a long-term mobile telecom strategy,” said Park Seung-geun, who leads research projects on electronic resources at ETRI.
The projection comes in line with the government’s push for 5G networks.
Earlier this month, ICT Minister Yoo Young-min met with the leaders of major mobile carriers, namely SKT, KT, and LG Uplus, and urged them to collaborate to develop 5G network technology.