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Cisco projects nearly 10-fold global mobile data traffic growth over next five years

Global mobile data traffic is seen to reach an annual run rate of up to 291.8 Exabytes by 2019, roughly equivalent to data contained in 6,079 million DVDs per month, according to a recent global study by Cisco.

Global mobile data traffic is seen to reach an annual run rate of up to 291.8 Exabytes by 2019, roughly equivalent to data contained in 6,079 million DVDs per month, according to a recent global study by Cisco.

Cisco

The latest annual update of the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2014 to 2019 reveals that more powerful mobile devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will dominate mobile data traffic as countries around the globe develop faster and wider cellular networks. In 2014, 88 percent of global mobile data traffic came from smart devices with advanced computing and multi-media capabilities and a minimum of 3G connectivity. This figure is expected to rise to 97 percent worldwide by 2019.

The adoption of smart mobile devices has steadily increased in the Philippines and worldwide as more consumers embrace smartphones, tablets, hybrid devices, and smart wearables. In the Philippines, a study by OnDevice Research reveals that smartphone penetration will reach up to 50% in 2015 from 15% in 2014, as more affordable smartphones continue to enter the market and replace feature phones, or the basic call and text phones.

“We see more smart devices with a wide array of functions becoming more pervasive in our everyday lives. As these become an integral part of an individual’s life, businesses must be able to keep up with the consumers’ increasingly mobile habits. The Cisco VNI will serve as a guide for businesses who wish to maximize the benefits of a mobile consumer landscape, said Louie Castaneda, country manager, Cisco Systems Philippines

As more Filipinos gain access to mobile data through their smartphones, they will contribute to an estimated 10-fold growth of mobile data traffic in Asia Pacific from 2014-2019. This represents up to 9.5 Exabytes per month by 2019—the highest in the world followed only by North America at 3.8 Exabytes per month.

The Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecasts projects that 3G connections will surpass 2G connections in Asia Pacific by 2017, and will comprise 45.8 percent of total mobile connections in the region by 2019. Meanwhile, 4G connections are seen to grow 7-fold from 2014 to 2019 as devices with 4G capability become more available to consumers. 4G connections are predicted to comprise up to 25.6% of total mobile connections in 2019.

Majority of mobile data traffic in Asia Pacific will come from consumers who watch videos in their smart devices. The Cisco VNI update predicts that video streaming will reach up to 71% of mobile data traffic in the region in 2019, compared to 54% at the end of 2014. Meanwhile, web surfing and other data services will only be 20% of the region’s mobile data traffic by 2019, dropping from 37% by end-2014.

“The ongoing adoption of more powerful mobile devices and wider deployments of emerging M2M applications, combined with broader access to faster wireless networks, will be key contributors to significant mobile traffic growth in the coming years. This mobile-centric environment will give service providers a new landscape of challenges and opportunities to innovatively deliver a variety of mobile services and experiences to consumers and business users as the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to take shape,” notes Doug Webster, Cisco vice president of service provider products and solutions marketing.

These numbers reflect strong global growth, based on Cisco’s forecasts.

From 2014 to 2019, Cisco anticipates that global mobile traffic growth will outpace global fixed traffic growth three-fold. Trends driving mobile data traffic growth include:

  • More mobile users: By 2019, there will be 5.2 billion mobile users (up from 4.3 billion in 2014). In 2014, nearly 59 percent of the world’s population (7.2 billion people) was comprised of mobile users; by 2019, more than 69 percent of the world’s population (7.6 billion people) will be mobile users.
  • More mobile connections: By 2019, there will be approximately 11.5 billion mobile-ready devices/connections, including 8.3 billion personal mobile devices and 3.2 billion M2M connections (up from 7.4 billion total mobile-ready devices and M2M connections in 2014).
  • Faster mobile speeds: Average global mobile network speeds will increase 2.4 fold from 2014 (1.7 Mbps) to 2019 (4.0 Mbps).
  • More mobile video: By 2019, mobile video will represent 72 percent of global mobile data traffic (up from 55 percent in 2014).
  • The number of wearable devices globally will grow five-fold, reaching 578 million by 2019, up from 109 million in 2014, with the majority of devices anticipated in North America and Asia Pacific.
  • Globally, wearable devices are anticipated to contribute up to 479 megabytes of mobile data per month by 2019, up from 141 megabytes per month in 2014.
  • Mobile cloud traffic will grow nearly 11-fold from 2014 (2 exabytes/month) to 2019 (21.8 exabytes/month).
  • In 2014, cloud applications accounted for 81 percent of total mobile data traffic; by 2019, cloud applications will account for 90 percent of total mobile data traffic.
  • Cloud-based applications and services include NetFilx, YouYube, Pandora, and Spotify.

Read the complete Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2014–2019 white paper.

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