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Prepare Yourself: 10-Fold Growth In Mobile Data Traffic By 2019

Posted by Henry Cheang | May 27, 2015 7:00 AM

Cisco regularly projects the growth of global mobile data traffic. In the last two years, the company released two sets of forecasts that tried to predict the impact of visual networking applications, apps that merge social networking with video or other visual elements.

There'll be 3.9 BILLION DVDs' worth of data in 2018.

One forecast covered data growth that spanned from 2013 through 2018, while the next furnished figures for 2014 to 2019. In both cases, the predicted growth was huge.

What were the results of the earlier forecast?

Well, if you thought that we have a lot of mobile data usage in the world today, you’ll be amazed by Cisco’s predictions for the next few years. They think that by 2018, mobile data traffic is going to total 15.9 exabytes per month – more than 10 times the monthly volume in 2013. Let’s put this in perspective, shall we?

  • 1 Exabyte is the same as 1 million terabytes (where 1 terabyte is the size of a normal hard drive), or
  • 1 Exabyte of data takes over 245 million DVDs to hold.

And Cisco predicts about 16 times that volume of mobile traffic per month.

Now, what exactly would this represent? Well, since much of this data traffic will come from video being moved around, let’s look at it in terms of video to watch. If you wanted to watch every second of video uploaded in just one month to the internet in 2018, it would take you over 5 million years to do it.  

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And that’s not the end of the data traffic growth either. It’s not surprising, given how quickly mobile device adoption is happening worldwide.

And of course, you can’t have massive traffic growth without a huge spike in bandwidth to go with it. This is why Cisco forecast broadband speed increases from 16 Mbps in 2013 to 42 Mbps in 2018!

What does the more recent report state?

The main things we can expect – more of the same, except even more! Cisco’s projections for 2014 to 2019 claim that mobile traffic will jump to 24.3 Exabytes per month in 2019.

What’s going to be really interesting about that traffic is that most of it will be so-called “smart” traffic – mobile app and other usage that streams along 3G networks and above. There’s also going to be a lot of traffic that will be transferred onto wifi networks as more and more places install wifi systems as a matter of course.  

One further interesting wrinkle in all this is the expected volume of data traffic that will come from wearable devices. Cisco fully expects that there will be close to 600 million wearable devices in the world by 2019 (nearly 500 million more than in 2014). Their share of this mobile traffic is projected to jump 18 fold.

What does this all mean for businesses?

The most obvious outcome is that many more mobile devices – phones, wearables, and otherwise – will form huge chunks of the IT assets used to for work. It’s going to cost serious money to buy and maintain all of this technology, and it will also cost a lot to cover usage. Mobile management and IT and telecom expense management will be more crucial than ever. It will be the only way to really keep these devices and costs under control.

And that’s where we come in…

Fortunately, Cimpl, Canada’s leader in IT and telecom expense managementmakes tracking fleets of technology an easy task. One of the things we do best is to help companies take back control of their Shadow IT. We centralize all data to make it easy to access and handle, and automate processes so that nothing falls through the cracks.  By optimizing technology use and IT spend, we help companies get the most value out of their technology. 

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Topics: Wireless management, Mobile Devices, Data, Usage

Written by Henry Cheang

Henry has a lifelong passion for science and technology. This enthusiasm is put to good use in a cutting-edge software company like Cimpl. As product marketer, Henry researches market and user needs to develop user and buyer personas, contributes to product design, and helps coordinate product messaging. Henry also writes nearly the entirety of all documentation for Cimpl’s many successful platforms. In his spare time, Henry devotes much energy to family, friends, and martial arts. Henry recently completed his Master’s in Business and Administration from Concordia University, where he specialized in the study of marketing, organizational behavior, and corporate governance. He has authored academic papers on the latter two subjects; these papers form part of his bibliography of over 20 professional research publications.

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