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Cisco Records Explosion in Mobile Broadband Data Traffic During 2010

Posted: 03rd Feb, 2011 By: MarkJ
global 2010 to 2015 mobile data traffic cisco logoThe latest mobile focused Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) forecast has reported that global mobile internet / data ( Mobile Broadband ) traffic grew 2.6-fold in 2010 and nearly tripled for the third year in a row (up by 159% over 2009; 237 Petabytes per month). In other words, 2010's mobile data traffic was three times the size of the entire internet in 2000 (75 Petabytes per month).

Mobile internet video traffic appears to be the primary culprit, accounting for a staggering 49.8% of total mobile data at the end of 2010; this is predicted to hit 52.8% in 2011. Standard mobile website browsing was the 2nd largest type of mobile traffic, albeit still less than half as important as video. P2P (File Sharing) and VoIP account for very little.

global 2010 to 2015 mobile traffic types

Mobile internet connection speeds doubled last year and hit a world average download rate of 215Kbps (kilobits). Interestingly Cisco found that the top 1% of mobile data subscribers generated over 20% of mobile data traffic, which is actually down from 30% one year ago.

Smartphone's (iPhone etc.) represent just 13% of total global handsets in use today, but they account for over 78% of total handset traffic. In 2010, the typical Smartphone generated 24 times more mobile data traffic (79 MB per month) than the typical basic-feature cell phone.

However, there were 94 million laptops on the mobile network in 2010, and each laptop generated 22 times more traffic than the average Smartphone. Mobile data traffic per laptop was 1.7GB per month, up 49% from 2009.

As for the future. Global mobile data traffic is predicted to jump 26-fold between 2010 and 2015. Mobile data traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 92% from 2010 to 2015, reaching 6.3 Exabytes per month by 2015. By this time the average mobile network connection speed will be above 2.2Mbps (Megabits), which is close to what UK users can already receive.
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