Consumers are going to continue demanding internet access from anywhere at any time, a trend that isn’t going to slow down any time soon. A new report from Ericsson that, among other things, forecasts PC and tablet mobile subscriptions will almost close the gap with the number of fixed broadband subscriptions by 2017. Furthermore, for many people around the world, the mobile phone will be the only means of accessing the internet.

Doing so shouldn’t be too technologically difficult since 85 percent of the world’s population will be covered by high-speed mobile internet by then. There were about 6 billion mobile subscribers at the end of 2011, but there will be nearly 9 billion in five more years.

Total mobile data traffic doubled between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012, driven mainly by video. The report (readable and downloadable below) forecasts that this trend will continue, with mobile data traffic growing by 15 times between 2011 and 2017.

“Today, people see access to the internet as a prerequisite for any device,” said Douglas Gilstrap, senior vice president and head of Strategy, Ericsson. “Operators recognize this business opportunity and are aiming to facilitate this growth and provide good user experience with fast data speeds through high capacity networks.”

Related links:

Ericsson – Traffic and Market Report: On the Pulse of the Networked Society

Ericsson – Traffic and Market Report media summary

Photo by Flickr user alumroot/Alan Wolf, used under Creative Commons license

Ericsson – Traffic and Market Report june_2012