Mobile technology is an integral part of our lives. Picture it: you get up, check your messages/emails, check up on people you love and work with, catch up on the news and other developments, and do much more on your mobile phone. And these are just some basic things people do on their phones, laptops, and other mobile devices.
Defining Mobile Technology
The technical definition of mobile technology is “a technology that involves mobility.” Mobile technology’s key components include general packet radio service (GPRS), short message service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS), global positioning service (GPS), and WAP, among others.
Mobile is a broad term. It essentially covers all hand-held mobile devices: mobile phones, laptops, tablets, smartwatches, and virtually any mobile device that can communicate with other devices.
Mobile technology, as mentioned, is shaping many aspects of human life: how we communicate, work, and live! The concept was mostly theoretical about three decades ago, but we now live in an age where our lives are heavily dependent on this technology. So, why not invest in it?
Why Invest in Mobile Technology?
Morgan Stanley, one of the largest banks in the world, financed comprehensive research on computing cycles. The study focused on four cycles: mainframe computers in the 60s, minicomputers in the 70s, personal computers (PC) in the 90s, and desktop internet in the 2000s.
One eye-catching finding of this study is each of the subsequent computing cycles grew by a successive, continuous rate of 10X – the minicomputer cycle grew to ten times the size of the mainframe cycle and so on. The world is past the desktop internet cycle, and all focus now is on mobile technology.
The mobile technology cycle is expected to experience a boom ten times bigger than the desktop boom experienced in the 2000s – this is immeasurable, considering how big the 2000s boom was. The desktop cycle, however, was not as versatile and entrenched as the mobile technology cycle is. As such, we will likely see exponential growth as the world becomes more and more digitized.
Following is an insight into where some of the major sectors of mobile technology stand now and their projected growth cycles:
· Internet & Smartphone Penetration
There are about 14 billion mobile devices in use around the world today, according to Statista. 5.28 billion of these devices are in people’s hands, which accounts for about 68% of the world’s population.
Over half of the world’s population (about 3.5 people) is active online. 80% of internet users (about 2.8 billion people) own at least one smartphone – a sizeable fraction of this population owns more than one smartphone, which is especially well documented across Asia.
Internet penetration by mobile phone was about 48% in 2014. It grew to 61.2% in 2018 and reached 63.4% in 2019. It is estimated that mobile phone user internet penetration will be over 80% by 2022. The average mobile internet user spends about 3 hours online per day.
Smartphones are driving mobile technology. Their small size makes them convenient and hence more preferable to laptops and other larger devices.
Smartphone manufacturers have been recording increases in the number of devices they make, and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Apple, which is one of the largest smartphone makers, sold more than 210 million iPhones in 2016 alone. It is now the first trillion-dollar company in the world, and it still plays second to Samsung.
The world aims to achieve close to 100% internet penetration in the coming decades. The internet is also expected to grow larger and more dynamic over the coming decades. Currently, about 1.56 billion smartphones are sold to end-users annually. This number has been growing steadily over the past two decades, and it is expected to grow exponentially as the smartphone market expands.
· Cloud Computing
Telecom trends like cloud computing have proven invaluable in more ways than one. Most notably, it is one of the few avenues left for businesses and people to use following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The global cloud computing market is currently worth about $236 billion, up from $87 billion five years ago. The market is expected to grow to about $623 by 2023, which would signify a CAGR of 18%. Its uses are also expected to expand over time, and they will overlap with the new opportunities brought about by 5G technology.
· 5G Networking
The mobile technology revolution is just beginning. It promises great things, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) – IoT will also contribute to an exponential growth of mobile technology, as it will connect virtually everything to the internet. 5G networking has emerged as the answer to bringing these innovative technologies to fruition.
5G network automation ensures increased transmission speed; it is expected to be more than 100 times faster than the current 4G technology. To put this into perspective, 5G supports download speeds of up to 1.4GB per second. This will revolutionize technology across industries such as education and healthcare, e.t.c. For instance, hospitals will transmit large MRI files instantly, and surgeons can perform surgeries in virtual presence from anywhere in the world.
There is a lot of controversy and debate about 5G technology. Notably, major players on the global stage, including the U.S., China, and the EU, are tussling over who gets to roll out this technology first. 5G is, in fact, one of the key issues in the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China – that is just how lucrative these superpowers think it will be!
The Numbers Don’t Lie.
Mobile technology indeed is the most lucrative industry in the world today, and it will help shape the future of mankind. Billions of people around the world are already dependent on mobile technology for their day-to-day living, and billions more are catching up. Soon, it will become necessary to join the grid just to keep up with the human race.
Its revolution is just beginning, which makes this the ideal time to invest. Your investment options are not limited to the three discussed sectors. You can invest in stocks, startups, software, apps, and thousands of the components that make up mobile technology.