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Cisco: big mobile traffic coming

23 daily images per person on Earth for a year in 2019

Global mobile data traffic will be so voluminous in 2019 that it will equal 65 trillion images, or 23 daily images per person on Earth for a year. This is but one finding of Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index, which was released this week.

And that’s equivalent to six trillion YouTube video clips, or more than two daily video clips per person on Earth for a year.

The majority of traffic, as it is now, will be driven by cloud applications like YouTube, Spotify, Netflix and Pandora. These and other cloud applications accounted for 81% of mobile data traffic last year; they’ll account for 90% in 2019. Mobile cloud traffic will grow nearly 11-fold in that time.

And over that period, Cisco anticipates that global mobile traffic growth will outpace global fixed traffic growth by a factor of three.

By 2019, 3G networks will support 44% of global mobile devices and connections; 4G networks will support 26% of connections, though will generate 68% of traffic. That’s up from 40% in 2014. The number of 4G connections globally will grow 18-fold, from 459 million in 2014 to 3 billion by 2019, according to the Cisco report.

And by 2019, more people will be wearing their connectivity. The number of wearable devices globally will grow five-fold, reaching 578 million by 2019, up from 109 million in 2014. This is expected to fuel 18-fold growth in mobile traffic from wearable devices between 2014 and 2019, with most of it channeled through smartphones, the Cisco study states.

Using GoPro wearable video streaming as an example, Cisco says that camera on a cellular network would generate about 5 MB of mobile data traffic per minute.

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