YouTube-obsessed teenagers are willing to pay for cellular connectivity as they continue to stream video at all times of the day, according to new research.

While the notion of millennials using free Wi-Fi remains true, Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report has found that there is hope for operators’ traditional business models.

Over 85 percent of all data traffic generated by smartphone video apps is accessed via Wi-Fi, but the amount transmitted by teenagers over cellular networks increased by 127 percent between July 2014 and October 2015.

According to the Sweden-based vendor, this is because the demographic wants to watch TV and video services throughout the day and cannot always access Wi-Fi.

As a result, 63 percent of teenagers surveyed in the US, Japan and South Korea said they would be happy to pay for improved mobile data speed and coverage.

Ericsson said: “Since we are witnessing a generational change, current teens are likely to increase their appetite for cellular data as they grow older.”

YouTube dominates video traffic in most mobile networks and accounts for between 50–70 percent of total video traffic for almost all networks that Ericsson measured.

In markets where Netflix has launched services, its share of video can reach 10–20 percent of total mobile video traffic.

Social networking is the second largest traffic volume contributor, the report found, with an average share of 20 percent in measured networks.

Looking ahead, Ericsson is forecasting that mobile video traffic will grow by around 55 percent annually through 2021, when it should account for over two-thirds of all mobile data traffic.

Western Europe will experience a nine-fold growth in monthly smartphone data usage per user between 2015 and 2021, reaching 18 GB.

This is behind North America (22 GB) but ahead of Asia Pacific (7 GB).

The report also revealed that the Internet of Things is set to overtake mobile phones as the largest category of connected device by 2018.

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