By Emma Okonji

The Ericsson Mobility Report that was released at the on-going Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, rated Nigeria among the top five countries globally that have generated high traffic in social networking.

According to the report, social networking is second only to video for driving mobile traffic growth, while forecasting that over the next six years, total social networking traffic will be around 12 times that of the previous six years.

The report said out of the 68 million mobile subscriptions that were added in fourth quarter of 2015, India added the most with 21 million, followed by China with six million, the United States with five million, Myanmar with five million and Nigeria with three million.

Total number of mobile subscriptions in Q4 2015 reached 100 per cent penetration at around 7.3 billion, which is the same number of mobile subscriptions as people in the world.

Global mobile data traffic grew 65 per cent between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015, and there are now one billion Long Term Evolution (LTE) subscriptions worldwide, with approximately 160 million additions in Q4 2015, the report stated.

Giving details of smartphone usage globally, the report deduced that streaming delays mentally taxing for smartphone users.

“When working under time pressure, time-to-content delays followed by an additional pause in video play-out, lead to a jump in mobile users’ stress levels. Conversely, a delay-free experience triggers a positive emotional response and increases brand engagement for mobile operators,” according to Ericsson’s forecast.

The Ericsson Mobility Report reveals the impact of different levels of network performance on smartphone users and their perceptions of mobile operators and digital content providers.

“Neuroscience technology was used to objectively measure emotional responses to varied smartphone experiences. Delays in loading web pages and videos under time pressure caused mobile users’ heart rates to rise an average of 38 per cent. Six-second delays to video streaming caused stress levels to increase by a third. To put that in context, the stress incurred is equivalent to the anxiety of taking a mathematics test or watching a horror movie alone, and greater than the stress experienced by standing at the edge of a virtual cliff. Once a video begins, an additional pause can cause stress levels to increase dramatically,” the report said.

In the study, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) of an operator increased significantly when associated with a delay-free experience, by 4.5 points. This finding was also reflected when measuring emotional engagement using a neuroscience-based motivational index.

However, the operator’s NPS dropped on average four points with moderate time-to-content and re-buffering delays. Interestingly, moderate delays result in a double negative for mobile operators: decreased engagement with their brand and increased engagement with competitors.

At the Mobile World Congress 2016, which opened on Monday this week in Barcelona, Spain, Ericsson showcased its unique industry insights, the latest innovation and inspirational discussions that enable powerful new business opportunities.

“We are in the midst of the societal transformation we call the Networked Society: a society in which mobility, broadband and cloud empower every person and every industry to reach their full potential. Opportunity is everywhere, and companies are transforming according to the role they have chosen to play in the value chains and ecosystems of the Networked Society,” Ericsson said.