10bn mobile data connections will be in use by 2017, according to the latest quarterly projection from Cisco, including more than 1.7bn M2M connections and 5.2bn from mobile phones. By then, mobile traffic will outpace fixed traffic by a factor of three.
3G services will account for the majority of this, 57 per cent, with 2G still supporting 33 per cent of devices and 4G services making up just 10 per cent of these, up from 1 per cent last year. Data use in the Middle East and Africa is set to grow the most, 77 per cent per year on average of the period. The Asia-Pacific region is projected to generate the most mobile data traffic in four years' time.
The amount of mobile traffic worldwide will increase 13-fold over the next four years, reaching 11.2 exabytes - one quintillion bytes - per month for an annual run rate of 134 exabytes by 2017. This is equivalent to 134 times all the fixed and mobile traffic generated in the year 2000, or 10 images daily from each person on earth for one year, or 3 trillion video clips - one video clip per day for each person on earth over one year.
Here’s how each of the regions rank in terms of anticipated mobile data traffic generation by 2017:
• Asia-Pacific: 5.3 exabytes/month
• North America: 2.1 exabytes/month
• Western Europe: 1.4 exabytes/month
• The Middle East and Africa: 0.9 exabytes/month
• Central and Eastern Europe: 0.8 exabytes/month
• Latin America: 0.7 exabytes/month