Tablets fuel mobile data surge

Global monthly mobile data traffic will surge 26 times to 6.3 exabytes by 2015, fuelled by growing sales of web-enabled handsets, Cisco forecasts.
The infrastructure firm’s latest annual survey of mobile data traffic predicts the annual run rate will grow at a CAGR of 92% between 2010 and 2015, taking total yearly traffic to 75 exabytes.
Rising numbers of web-capable handsets will fuel some of that growth, with Cisco predicting there will be 5.6 billion connected personal devices in the hands of consumers by 2015. However, machine-to-machine nodes will also drive mobile data traffic – the firm expects 1.5 billion nodes to be operational by 2015, equivalent to one mobile connection for every person on the planet.
Within the handsets sector, tablet PCs are projected to see the highest growth in traffic during the period, with a 205-time growth in data sessions initiated on the devices marking the highest rises of all device categories.
Mobile video is tipped to generate 66% of all mobile data traffic by 2015, up 35 times over 2010.
Regionally, the highest growth in traffic will be recorded by Middle East and Africa with a 129% rise, followed by Latin America (111%), Central and Eastern Europe (102%), and Asia Pacific (101%).
Cisco’s research found that global mobile data traffic increased 159% in 2010, hitting 237 petabytes per month, while the average mobile data connection speed grew from 101 kbps to 215 kbps.