It shouldn’t be surprising to hear that mobile data is on the rise. Our mobile phones and tablets are more powerful than ever and network speeds are the fastest that they’ve ever been. Growth in mobile data usage has been pretty ridiculous so far, but it is estimated to grow a lot more over the next half a decade.
According to Cisco, 2012 was a big year for mobile data. The amount of data used by mobile devices increased 70% from 2011. Handsets on a 4G connection generated 19 times more traffic than non 4G handsets. By the end of 2012, 161 million laptops were using mobile networks daily.
However, the big news comes from Cisco’s estimates over the next 4 years. By 2017, we’ll be measuring monthly and yearly mobile data usage in exabytes instead of petabytes. Overall, it should increase about 13-fold from what it is today. North America and Asia-Pacific alone will account for 2/3 of all mobile traffic in the world.
There could be a lot of reasons for this. These regions have a very strong smartphone and tablet market already and it’s expected only to grow over the next few years. More people with more smartphones means more data will be consumed. If you add in the fact that these regions are also blanketing themselves in LTE coverage then that should explain why they’ll be growing more than everyone else.
Seeing the mobile market grow by so much is encouraging, especially for OEMs, mobile operating systems, and mobile carriers. However, with growth like that expected, is our next mobile crisis going to be the networks not being able to handle it? Let us know what you think about these predictions.