Mobile data traffic to increase ten-fold by 2019 – report

Annual global mobile data traffic will increase by 873% from 30 Exabytes in 2014 to 292 Exabytes by 2019, according to IT networking vendor Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI).

According to the annually published index, by 2019 the number of mobile users will increase from 4.3 billion last year to 5.2 billion (see regional mobile user growth chart below), smart devices will account for 97% of all mobile traffic, and 44% of devices will use 3G and 26% 4G. It said 3G will overtake 2G as the most used mobile technology by 2017.

Mobile traffic will be fuelled by the increase of wearables, which the VNI claimed will grow five-fold from 109 million in 2014 to 578 million by 2019. The report also claimed the number of minutes used through wifi calling (voice-over-wifi, VoWfi) will surpass 4G calls (voice-over-LTE, VoLTE) by 2018.

To put the numbers into perspective, the VNI said the 292 Exabytes equals to 292 times the total IP traffic, fixed and mobile in 2000, or 23 daily Instagram images per person in the world for a year (65 trillion in total), or six trillion video clips (more than two by every person on earth every day for one year).

“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,” Cisco VP of Products and Solutions Marketing, Doug Webster said.

“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.”

In terms of regional mobile data traffic growth Asia-Pacific will see 9.5 Exabytes, North America 3.8 Exabytes, Western Europe 2.4 Excabytes, Central and Eastern Europe 3.5 Exabytes, the Middle East and Africa 3 Exabytes and Latin America 2 Exabytes increase per month by 2019.

In the UK alone, an annual data traffic rate of 7.6 Exabytes will be reached by 2019, up from 0.9 Exabytes in 2014, an average wearable device will account for 569 megabytes of mobile data traffic, up over 378% from 2014.

Cisco said the VNI ‘s predictions are based on independent analyst forecasts and ‘real-world’ mobile data usage studies.

VNI mobile users regional graph



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