Smartphone traffic to grow 50-fold by 2016

Summary:Numerous reports have suggested that we'll see anywhere between 25 and 50 billion connected devices by 2020. But mobile data traffic numbers are going to skyrocket well before then, based on new research from Cisco.

Numerous reports have suggested that we'll see anywhere between 25 and 50 billion connected devices by 2020. But mobile data traffic numbers are going to skyrocket well before then, based on new research from Cisco.

The Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2011 to 2016 argues that we'll see such a surge in global mobile data traffic because the number of mobile internet-connected devices (an estimated 10 billion) will exceed the number of people on the planet.

Cisco cited a United Nations statistic that predicts the world population will be around 7.3 billion in 2016.

Other enablers include faster network speeds, more interest in mobile video streaming, and simply better mobile technology that encourages consumers to buy and use smartphones and tablets more.

Here are a few highlights from the report:

  • Global mobile data traffic will increase by 18 times more from 2011 to 2016
  • Smartphone traffic, in particular, will be 50 times greater in 2016 than it is now
  • Tablets will see the highest growth rate at a 62-fold more traffic, but 4G connectivity will grow 112 times over
  • Mobile video will make up 71 per cent of mobile data traffic by 2016
  • Smartphones, laptops and other portable devices will drive about 90 per cent of global mobile data traffic by 2016.

Specifically, worldwide mobile data traffic should average 10.8 exabytes per month — or an annual run rate of 130 exabytes — by 2016.

To put that in perspective, that equates to 33 billion DVDs, 4.3 quadrillion MP3 files or 813 quadrillion text messages.

Geographically, we should see the biggest jump in Africa with 104 per cent increase in mobile data traffic. Western Europe will actually see the least with a 68 per cent jump. The Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, will have an 84 per cent increase in mobile data traffic.

Via ZDNet US

Topics: Telcos, Cisco, Networking

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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