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Cisco finds us increasingly mobile

Study says tetherless connections will exceed the number of people on the planet by 2017

By Jim Duffy on Fri, 02/08/13 - 4:37pm.

Worldwide mobile data traffic will increase 13X over the next four years due, not surprisingly, to continued strong growth in the number of mobile Internet connections from personal devices and machine-to-machine applications. These findings, from Cisco's most recent Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, also note that the number of mobile Internet connections will exceed the world's population - estimated to be 7.6 billion in 2017 - in that time.

Mobile data traffic is on an annual run rate of 134 exabytes, the Cisco study states, which is equivalent to 3 trillion YouTube clips, or one video clip daily from each person on earth over one year; 30 trillion images via MMS or Instagram, or 10 images daily from each person on earth for one year; or 134 times all the fixed and mobile IP traffic generated in the year 2000.

[WIFI'S IMPACT: Mobile data growth accelerating worldwide, led by smartphone users]

The incremental amount of traffic being added to the mobile Internet just between 2016 and 2017 is 3.7 exabytes per month, which is more than four times the estimated size of the entire mobile Internet in 2012, Cisco says.

By 2017, there will be 5.2 billion mobile users -- up from 4.3 billion in 2012 - and more than 10 billion mobile devices and connections, up from 7 billion total mobile devices and M2M connections in 2012. Average global mobile network speeds will increase from 0.5Mbps in 2012 to almost 4Mbps in 2017, almost 50% faster per year;