Mobile phones will overtake the PC as the preferred method of accessing the internet within the next five years, according to web guru Mary Meeker.
And as a result of the increased adoption, bandwidth consumption is set to soar, with Meeker predicting a 4,000% increase by 2014.
Meeker - a Morgan Stanley analyst once dubbed the “queen of the net” - believes the world has truly entered the era of the mobile internet, GigaOM said.
Mobile internet usage is ramping up much faster than desktop usage did, with increasing penetration of 3G technology helping to drive adoption. The technology is estimated to be available to more than 20% of the world's mobile users.
The popularity of the iPhone is also driving adoption. While the primary function of the average phone is voice, which accounts for 70% of usage, voice calls typically account for only 45% of iPhone usage.
Likewise, the iPhone has been adopted at a much faster rate than desktop web technologies like AOL and Netscape, surpassing the peak popularity of both within nine quarters of launch.
The growing popularity of mobile access is helping to stimulate the e-commerce market, with online commerce and paid services accounting for 32% of mobile revenue in the pioneering Japanese market in 2008, compared to just 14% in 2000.
Other countries can expect a similar growth trajectory in the coming years, Meeker added.