Global mobile traffic to grow 11 fold by 2018, says Cisco

Global mobile traffic is expected to grow nearly 11 fold over the next four years, according to research conducted by networking kit vendor Cisco.

In the firm’s latest annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) it found that global mobile traffic is expected to grow from 18 exabytes per year at the end of 2013 to 18 exabytes per month by 2018; equivalent to 190 exabytes per year. Cisco explained that this amount of data is equivalent to four trillion YouTube videos and is 190 times more IP traffic, fixed and mobile, than was generated in 2000.

The firm said that data boom will be driven by continued strong growth in the number of mobile internet subscribers and M2M connections. The number of mobile users is also expected to increase from 4.1 billion in 2013 to 4.9 billion by 2018 while the number of mobile connections is forecast to hit more than ten billion by 2018; eight billion personal mobile connections and two billion M2M connections – a much more reserved forecast than some. There are currently seven billion personal and M2M connections combined globally, according to Cisco.

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The VNI report also forecasts that mobile cloud traffic will grow at a 64 per cent CAGR from 2013 to 2018 and the number of wearable devices will grow at a 52 per cent CAGR, from 21.7 million devices in 2013 to 176.9 million global wearable devices by 2018.In addition, Cisco expects average global mobile data speeds to grow during this period from 1.4Mbps in 2013 to 2.5Mbps by 2018. By 2018, the firm expects mobile video to represent 69 per cent of global mobile data traffic, up from 53 per cent in 2013.

“Such growth is not only indicative of mobility becoming a critical characteristic of almost every network experience and the value consumers and businesses alike place on it, but it also represents the immense opportunities ahead for service providers who sit at the centre of the Internet of Everything,” said Doug Webster, VP of products and solutions marketing at Cisco.

The networking giant has stepped up its focus on the mobile telecoms space in recent times. In November last year, the firm partnered with UK telco BT companies jointly deploy a cloud-based voice and video collaboration platform called One Cloud Cisco. The companies say the new platform will help position them to take advantage of recent trends in flexible working.

Earlier that same month, Cisco announced the acquisition of start up datacentre and cloud solutions provider Insieme Networks.

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