Global mobile data traffic is set to grow 39-fold over the five years to 2014 to 3.6 exabytes per month, according to Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index (VNI).(An exabyte is 1,000 petabytes.)
That growth – equivalent to CAGR of 108% - will come from the proliferation of mobile-ready devices and widespread mobile video consumption, the forecast says.
By 2014, mobile video is expected to account for 66% of all mobile data traffic, and will grow 66-fold from 2009 to 2014 - the highest growth of any app in the forecast.
That squares with current trends. Mobile video streaming is the fastest-growing app on mobile networks, according to a study by another vendor, Allot Communications, released earlier this week.
Global mobile data is growing 2.4 times faster than fixed-line traffic, and increased 160% last year to 90 petabytes per month, Cisco said.
It expects more than 5 billion personal devices will be connected to mobile networks by 2014, as well as billions of machine-to-machine connections.
By 2014, more than 90% of mobile data traffic will come from smartphones and data cards.
The Middle East and Africa will post the fastest growth rate, with CAGR of 133%, followed Asia-Pacific (119%), and North America (117%).
“Today, the average mobile broadband connection generates 1.3GB of traffic per month, which is equivalent to about 650 MP3 music files,” Cisco said. “By 2014, the average mobile broadband connection is projected to generate 7GB of traffic per month-which is equivalent to about 3,500 MP3 music files.”