Smartphones to spark 18-fold increase in mobile data

data growth

Ten billion mobile internet devices behind soaring traffic, says Cisco

Cloud services, ten billion mobile devices and faster connections will see mobile traffic soar over the next five years, according to figures from Cisco.

The company’s mobile traffic forecast predicted an 18-fold increase in mobile data, reaching 10.8 exabytes (10.8 quintillion bytes) per month by 2016.

According to the figures, mobile cloud data traffic will account for 71% of mobile data, at 7.6 exabytes, with streaming services to the fore, compared to 45% of consumption in 2011 when it accounted for 237 petabytes per month.

The increase in cloud-based data will be accompanied by a surge in mobile devices to 10 billion – more than humans on the planet - and increasingly fast connections that enable more content to flow.

This impressive growth in mobile traffic will be driven by more powerful devices, notably smartphones and tablets, using faster networks

“By 2016, 60% of mobile users - three billion people worldwide - will belong to the ‘Gigabyte Club,’ each generating more than a gigabyte of mobile data traffic per month,” said Suraj Shetty, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Cisco.

“By contrast, in 2011, only 0.5% of mobile users qualified. This impressive growth in mobile traffic will be driven by more powerful devices, notably smartphones and tablets, using faster networks, such as 4G and Wi-Fi, to access more applications, particularly data-intensive video.”

Global average mobile connection speeds should increase from 1.3Mbits/sec to 5.2Mbits/sec fuelling increased use of streaming services, with video expected to account for nearly three quarters of traffic across networks, Cisco said.

Smartphones will also embrace the next-generation internet protocol (IPv6), with 71% of devices capable of connecting to IPv6 networks within five years, it added.

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