Mobile Internet-enabled Devices Will Push Global Data Traffic to a 92 Percent CAGR Through 2015, Cisco Study Says

Mobile data traffic will skyrocket 26-fold through 2015 to about 75 exabytes per year by 2015, driven by the proliferation of mobile Internet-enabled devices delivering video and services, according to Cisco System Inc.'s recent Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update for 2010 to 2015.

The vendor's VNI forecast incorporates analyst estimates and real-world mobile data usage studies, and layers it with Cisco's internal projections on mobile application adoption, usage minutes and transmission speeds.

Cisco's study predicts that by 2015, more than 5.6 billion personal devices will be connected to mobile networks. Considering that there's about 6.9 billion people on earth, that's only slightly less than one device per person.

The vendor figures that by 2015, mobile video will constitute two-thirds of all mobile data traffic, an overall 35-fold bump from 2010, but that will be dwarfed by the 205-fold increase in mobile traffic generated by tablet devices during the same period.

"Consumers and business users continue to demonstrate a healthy demand for mobile data services, said Suraj Shetty, Cisco vice president, worldwide service provider marketing.

"The fact that global mobile data traffic increased 2.6-fold from 2009 to 2010, nearly tripling for the third year in a row, confirms the strength of the mobile Internet," Shetty said.

"The seemingly endless bevy of new mobile devices, combined with greater mobile broadband access, more content, and applications of all types -- especially video -- are the key catalysts driving this remarkable growth," he said.

Some other highlights from the study:

  • The expected monthly global mobile data traffic run rate of 6.3 exabytes per month by 2015 is the equivalent of 19 billion DVDs or 536 quadrillion SMS text messages.
  • Global mobile data traffic grew 4.2 times as fast as global fixed broadband data traffic in 2010.
  • EMEA will have the highest regional mobile data traffic growth rates, with a compound annual growth rate of 129 percent over the period. Latin America anticipates a 111 percent CAGR, followed by Central and Eastern Europe, with a 102 percent CAGR, and Asia-Pacific, with a 101 percent CAGR. Western Europe is forecast to experience a 91 percent CAGR; North America, an 83 percent CAGR; and Japan, a 70 percent CAGR.
  • Smart phones, laptops, and other portable devices will drive more than 87 percent of global mobile traffic by 2015.
  • Mobile network-connected tablets will generate more traffic in 2015 (248 petabytes per month) than the entire global mobile network in 2010 (237 petabytes per month).
  • The average mobile network connection speed doubled from 2009 to 2010 and is expected to increase 10-fold by 2015, according to the Cisco Global Internet Speed Test (GIST). Mobile network connection speeds are a key factor in supporting mobile data traffic growth.


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