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Stockholm (AFP) Nov 21, 2012
The amount of data used by mobile devices doubled over the past year, boosted by growth in video streaming services, according to a study released on Wednesday by Swedish telecom group Ericsson.
Data traffic doubled in the third quarter of this year on an annual basis, and rose 16 percent from the previous quarter, it said.
The trend is set to continue, with the amount of information transferred over mobile networks doubling every year for the next six years, driven in large part by users accessing more video content.
Computers and tablets currently dominate mobile traffic, but the high growth in smartphone subscriptions means data consumption will be split equally between the two in 2018.
"Smartphone traffic is growing faster due to the high growth in subscriptions," the report said.
Around 40 percent of all phones sold in the third quarter of this year were smartphones.
Mobile devices have turned social media into an activity that consumers engage in througout the day, Ericsson noted.
"It has begun to influence and merge with other behaviors, such as watching TV and other video content," it said.
"The two activities are instead done in parallel or even merged into a new kind of behavior."
The study also highlighted that using free game apps that are financed by advertising often leads to significantly higher data consumption for the user than the paid-for, premium versions of the software.
Global mobile penetration reached 91 percent in the third quarter this year. The total number of mobile subscriptions is expected to reach 6.6 billion this year and 9.3 billion in 2018, the report said.
US agency dumps BlackBerry, chooses iPhone
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a public notice last week it would be contracting with Verizon Wireless for the iPhone 5, saying it is the "only device" that meets the agency's needs.
The iPhones will have an additional benefit of compatibility with Apple iPad tablets used by the agency.
The Apple iPhones "will replace the NTSB's existing BlackBerry devices, which have been failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate," the agency said in its notice.
"The NTSB requires effective, reliable and stable communication capabilities to carry out its primary investigative mission and to ensure employee safety in remote locations."
The announcement is more bad news for Canadian-owned Research in Motion, which makes the BlackBerry and has been traditionally dominant in US government agencies, but has been losing ground to Apple and to smartphones using the Google-backed Android system.
Earlier this year, the Pentagon ended its exclusive deal with RIM to supply its vast workforce with BlackBerry smartphones.
Another government agency, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, also said it was dropping the Blackberry device altogether in favor of Apple's iPhone.
The US military and intelligence agencies have long preferred the Blackberry due to security concerns and had worried that Apple, Android and other smartphones lacked sufficient safeguards.
RIM is set to unveil its new BlackBerry 10 platform, aimed at better competing with Apple and others, on January 30.
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