Cisco: Mobile IP traffic will triple fixed data traffic by 2016

No doubt most IT managers have already noticed the effect smartphones and other high-performance mobile devices are having on their corporate network, exacerbated by the BYOD (bring your own device) trend among employees. But Cisco's latest study on mobile IP traffic shows the fun is just beginning. The results of Cisco's updated Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast predict faster-than-expected growth from the previous mobile forecast released one year ago: 2011 mobile Internet traffic was forecast to grow at 131%, but actual 2011 mobile Internet growth was estimated to be 133%.

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From 2011 through 2016, Cisco predicts that global mobile data traffic will outgrow global fixed data traffic by three times. The expected sharp increase in mobile traffic is due, in part, to a projected surge in the number of mobile Internet-connected devices. By 2016, the study projects more than 10 billion mobile Internet-connected devices (including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules) -- exceeding the world's projected population at that time of 7.3 billion. (World population estimate source: United Nations.) The research projects that by 2016, there will be 8 billion handheld or personal mobile-ready devices and nearly 2 billion machine-to-machine connections.

On-demand or streamed content is also a prime factor versus simply downloaded content, mobile cloud traffic will increase, growing 28-fold from 2011 to 2016. Faster mobile network connection speed are also enabling growth since more speed generates more consumption -- and Cisco projects mobile speeds to increase ninefold from 2011 to 2016. Mobile video is expected to comprise 71 of all mobile data traffic by 2016.

Suraj Shetty, VP of product and solutions marketing at Cisco commented in a statement saying, "By 2016, 60 % of mobile users -- 3 billion people worldwide -- will belong to the 'Gigabyte Club,' each generating more than one gigabyte of mobile data traffic per month. By contrast, in 2011, only one-half percent of mobile users qualified. This impressive growth in mobile traffic will be driven by more powerful devices, notably smartphones and tablets, using faster networks, such as 4G and Wi-Fi, to access more applications, particularly data-intensive video."

Our thanks to Cisco for sharing this comprehensive research -- more details and statistics can be found in the full report here.

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