Mobile data traffic to grow 18-fold

Worldwide mobile data traffic will increase 18-fold over the next five years and reach 10.8 exabytes (EB) per month by 2016.
This is according Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast, released this week.

Cisco says the expected sharp increase in mobile traffic is due, in part, to a projected surge to around 10 billion in the number of mobile internet-connected devices, which will exceed the number of people on earth (in line with a 2016 world population estimate of 7.3 billion Source:United Nations).

During 2011-2016 Cisco anticipates that global mobile data traffic will outgrow global fixed data traffic by three times.

The forecast predicts an annual run rate of 130 exabytes of mobile data traffic, which is equivalent to: 33 billion DVDs, 4.3 quadrillion MP3 files (music/audio)or 813 quadrillion short message service (SMS) text messages.

The report attributes this growth to massive demand for streamed content, more mobile connections, faster mobile speeds and enhanced computing.

The Cisco study also projects that 71% of all smartphones and tablets (1.6 billion) could be capable of connecting to an Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) mobile network by 2016.
It expects the Middle East and Africa to have the highest regional mobile data traffic growth rate with a CAGR of 104%, or 36-fold growth.

Suraj Shetty, vice president of product and solutions marketing, Cisco, said: "By 2016, 60% of mobile users - 3 billion people worldwide - will belong to the 'Gigabyte Club,' each generating more than one gigabyte of mobile data traffic per month. By contrast, in 2011, only one-half percent of mobile users qualified.”

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