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Cisco Projects Massive Mobile Data Growth

Mobile traffic from tablet devices expected to grow 205-fold

February 1, 2011

3 Min Read

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2010 to 2015, worldwide mobile data traffic will increase 26-fold during this time period reaching 6.3 exabytes per month or an annual run rate of 75 exabytes by 2015 due to a projected surge inmobile Internet-enabled devices delivering popular video applications and services.

This traffic increase represents a compound annual growth rate of 92 percent over the same period. Two major global trends are driving these significant mobile data traffic increases: a continued surge in mobile-ready devices such as tablets and smart phones, and widespread mobile video content consumption.

The Cisco study predicts that by 2015, more than 5.6 billion personal devices will be connected to mobile networks, and there will also be 1.5 billion machine-to-machine nodes -- nearly the equivalent of one mobile connection for every person in the world. Mobile video is forecast to represent 66 percent of all mobile data traffic by 2015, increasing 35-fold from 2010 to 2015, the highest growth rate of any mobile data application tracked in the Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast. Mobile traffic originating from tablet devices is expected to grow 205-fold from 2010 to 2015, the highest growth rate of any device category tracked.

Facts and Projections

  • The updated research projects that annual global mobile data traffic will reach 6.3 exabytes per month, or an annual run rate of 75 exabytes, by 2015. That amount is the equivalent of 19 billion DVDs or 536 quadrillion SMS text messages or 75 times the amount of global Internet Protocol traffic (fixed and mobile) generated in the year 2000.

  • Global mobile data traffic increased 159 percent from calendar year 2009 to calendar year 2010 to 237 petabytes per month, or the equivalent of 60 million DVDs.

  • Global mobile data traffic grew 4.2 times as fast as global fixed broadband data traffic in 2010.

  • Global mobile data traffic in 2010 was three times the size of all global Internet traffic (fixed and mobile) in the year 2000.

  • According to the updated forecast, the Middle East and Africa will have the highest regional mobile data traffic growth rates, with a compound annual growth rate of 129 percent (63-fold growth) over the period. Latin America anticipates a 111 percent CAGR (42-fold growth), followed by Central and Eastern Europe, with a 102 percent CAGR (34-fold growth), and Asia-Pacific, with a 101 percent CAGR (33-fold growth). Western Europe is forecast to experience a 91 percent CAGR (25-fold growth); North America, an 83 percent CAGR (20-fold growth); and Japan, a 70 percent CAGR (14-fold growth).

  • India has the highest national mobile data traffic growth rate, with a CAGR of 158 percent (115-fold growth) for the forecast period, followed by South Africa, with a 144 percent CAGR (87-fold growth), and Mexico, with a 131 percent CAGR (66-fold growth). Comparatively, the United Kingdom will see an 84 percent CAGR (21-fold growth), and the U.S. an 83 percent CAGR (21-fold growth), according to the updated forecast.

    Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

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