What will the mobile world look like in 2020? Predictions suggest smart devices, mobile video and connections skyrocketing


Posted on Feb 09, 2016

There’s going to be three times more mobile connections than people in the UK by 2020.

Thought we’d reached peak smartphone? Think again: the number of mobile connections is going to keep soaring, and are set to double in the UK over the next five years, from today’s 1.5 per person to three. Globally, there will be 1.5 connections per person in 2020, according to the annual Cisco Visual Networking Index forecast.

Increasingly, of course, this means smartphones, as the world will contain 70 million smartphones in 2020, up from 51 million today.

Regina Moran, chief exec of Fujitsu UK and Ireland, said the report highlighted not just consumers shifting to digital, but also businesses:

"The growth in mobile devices also means an increase of devices in the workplace, which demonstrates the need for transformation in business."

Smart devices are becoming increasingly popular, and the report predicts that by 2020 the number of smart devices will have rocketed 176 per cent to 7,802 million, from 2,821 million today.

Mobile video is also soaring, with 7 trillion video clips uploaded in 2020. In other words, this is more than 2.5 daily video clips for every person on Earth.

Doug Webster, Cisco’s vice president of service provider marketing, said innovations like 5G and new wi-fi solutions would be essential to meet both scale requirements and security concerns:

"IoT advancements will continue to fuel tangible benefits for people, businesses, and societies."

But even as the report shows mobile traffic booming worldwide, one third of the world will still be without mobile, even five years from now. Today, some 65 per cent of the world is mobile. In 2020, that will have inched up to 70 per cent, or 5.5 billion, but that still translates to well over 2 billion people without a mobile phone.