Mobile Data Traffic to Increase Elevenfold by 2018
According to the Cisco report, global mobile traffic growth will outpace global fixed traffic growth by a factor of three between 2013 and 2018.
By 2018, Cisco forecasts 4.9 billion mobile users, up from 4.1 billion in 2013. There will also be more than 10 billion mobile-ready devices and connections, including 8 billion personal mobile devices and 2 billion machine-to-machine connections.
Average mobile network speeds will nearly double, from 1.4 Mbps in 2013 to 2.5 Mbps by 2018.
Mobile video will account for 69% of global mobile data traffic by 2018, up from 53% in 2013.
According to the report, 54% of mobile connections will be “smart” by 2018, up from 21%. (Smart connections have a minimum of 3G.)
Smartphones, laptops and tablets will drive 94% of global mobile data traffic by 2018. Machine-to-machine traffic will represent 5%, while basic handsets will account for 1%. Other portables will account for a mere 0.1%.
Mobile cloud traffic will grow at a 64% compound annual growth rate, a twelvefold increase from 2013 to 2018.
Machine-to-machine applications enable wireless and wired systems to communicate with similar devices so that they support GPS, asset tracking, utility meters, security and surveillance video. In 2013, 5% of machine-to-machine apps generated over 1% of total mobile data traffic.
From 2013 to 2018, average mobile connection speeds will double. Average mobile connection speeds and average smartphone connection speeds will increase by compound annual growth rates of 13% and 12%, respectively.
4G’s eighteenfold increase represents a 78% compound annual growth rate. By 2018, 4G connections will support 15% of all connections, up from 3% in 2013.
By 2018, 52% of global mobile traffic will be offloaded onto Wi-Fi and small cell networks, up from 45% in 2013.
From 2013 to 2018, mobile video traffic will have the highest growth rate of any mobile application. It will be 69% of total global mobile traffic by 2018, up from 53% in 2013.