The growing number of tablets, smartphones and connected devices will push demand for mobile data to over 10.8 exabytes per month by 2016, an 18-fold increase over 2011 according to Cisco. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 78 percent from 2011 to 2016.


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  1. Reblogged this on MyRetailCloud Blog and commented:
    Explosion in mobile traffic by 2016!

  2. Hmmm… Well data needs to be cheaper and cheaper just like it is on ADSL Uncapped Internet.

  3. How about looking at the historical data from the largest mobile network operator on the planet? It tells a different story:

    1. Thanks for sharing this. The Cisco VNI study doesn’t breakdown the types of traffic, by the way.

      1. Om,

        Yes, I realize they don’t break it out, but they do make the following forecast re: mobile offload to fixed (everything not macro cell):

        “As a percentage of total mobile data traffic from handsets and tablets, mobile offload will be 31 percent (3.1 exabytes/month) in 2016, down slightly from 33 percent (72 petabytes/month) in 2011 (Figure 9). Total mobile data traffic from handsets and tablets will reach 6.9 exabytes/month by 2016, up from 145 petabytes/month in 2011. The percentage of traffic offloaded from tablets and handsets remains relatively flat over the forecast period.”

        I think they were smoking something good when they wrote this. Mobidia’s statistics from actual smartphone use (http://www.informatandm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Mobidia_final.pdf) inidcates ~70% of smartphone data traffic is going over Wi-Fi today. And you’ve seen the China Mobile data. Cisco is off by an order of magnitude on Wi-Fi offload today, never mind 4 years from now.

        I also don’t understand how you can forecast a declining offload percentage (33% 2011 -> 31% 2016) when Carrier Wi-Fi, small cells, and Passpoint are all likely to increase macro cell offload during that period. Makes no sense to me.


  4. It would be interesting to use this to estimate the cost of that data transfer on different providers because of the move away from unlimited packages to paid. Usage caps could also be an issue if they don’t increase proportionally.

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