Cisco: Mobile video will reach 1.6 billion users in 2016

Mobile video will be the fastest growing consumer mobile service globally from 2011 to 2016, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 42.9 percent to reach 1.6 billion users, Cisco predicted in the first edition of its VNI Service Adoption Forecast.

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The service adoption report, which was released in conjunction with Cisco's annual Visual Networking Index Forecast, also revealed that in North America alone there will be 163 million mobile video users in 2016.

The impact of video has mobile operators worldwide concerned as their networks struggle to keep up with data traffic. Network policy control vendor Sandvine said in April that video and audio streaming make up more than half of mobile data traffic in North America. The company noted that in all global regions, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube dominates as the largest source of mobile video traffic, accounting for 12-25 percent of traffic depending upon location.

Cisco's service forecast said 2.4 billion mobile consumers around the world will use social networking by 2016, making it the second highest penetrated mobile consumer service at 53 percent, behind SMS, which will serve 4.1 billion users, or 90 percent of the user base.

In the mobile business user category, SMS will be the most highly penetrated business mobile service globally with 499 million users, or 88 percent of all business mobile users. Business mobile location-based services are forecast to be the fastest-growing business mobile service, with 27 million users in 2011, increasing to 158 million users by 2016.

Cisco predicts that the entire Internet will be four times as large in four years, with 3.4 billion users, or 45 percent of the world's projected population. By 2016, the company expects more than half of the world's Internet traffic will stem from Wi-Fi connections.

Drilling down into its mobile figures for the United States, Cisco projects that U.S. mobile data traffic will grow 16-fold from 2011 to 2016, a CAGR of 74 percent. Total U.S. mobile data traffic in 2016 will be equivalent to four times the volume of the entire U.S. Internet in 2005.

"In the United States, mobile data traffic will reach 1,744,580 terabytes (1.74 exabytes) per month in 2016, the equivalent of 436 million DVDs each month or 4.8 billion text messages each second," Cisco said.

Further, the average mobile connection will generate 4,008 MB of mobile data traffic per month in 2016, up 1,157 percent from 319 MB per month in 2011, Cisco said.

For more:
- see this Cisco release

Related articles:
Study: Tablets generate triple the data traffic of smartphones
Sandvine: Streaming video invading mobile networks
Study: Mobile networks buckling as data usage picks up
Report: Mobile broadband traffic skyrocketed 83% in 2H11
Cisco: Global mobile data traffic to increase 18-fold by 2016

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