Cisco study: The mobile cloud makes data traffic explode

More Internet-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, more cloud services and more video transmissions will ensure high growth rates in mobile data traffic by 2016. This is the result of a Cisco study. Accordingly, service providers must take precautions.

Global mobile traffic will grow 18-fold from 2011 to 2016. Then almost 10.8 exabytes (EB) are transferred each month. The annual mobile data transfer of 130 exabytes equals the capacity of 33 billion DVDs or 813 trillion SMS. In Germany alone, the mobile traffic is then 4.7 EB, compared to 0.22 EB last year. This has been determined by the new Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast. The growth is mainly due to the increase in Internet-enabled mobile devices. In 2016, more than ten billion of them will exceed the amount of 7.3 billion people living on Earth. In Germany, 177 instead of the current 116 million mobile devices will be in use in four years.

Numbers for Germany

Mobile data traffic in Germany will increase 21-fold from 2011 to 2016, from 18.4 to 393 petabytes (PB) per month. Thus, it grows three times as fast as the transfer volume over fixed lines. The share of mobile transmission in the total volume increases from one to seven percent, the proportion of video transmissions in the mobile data volume from 53 to 75 percent. During this period, the number of smartphones in Germany will increase from 26 to 59 million, the number of tablets from 1.9 to 10.2 million and laptops from 4.7 to 6.9 million. An average of 3,197 instead of 167 megabytes will be transferred per mobile connection. CloudApplications will account for 72 percent of mobile traffic in 2016, compared to 43 percent at the end of 2011. The mobile cloud in Germany will increase 35-fold with an annual growth rate of 104 percent.

“With networks as the foundation for all applications, everyone involved, especially service providers , must provide a stable and secure infrastructure that scales quickly,” said Carlo Wolf, vice president and general manager of Cisco Germany.

Steep climb

The average annual growth rate of worldwide mobile traffic from 2011 to 2016 is 78 percent. This growth is driven by the following factors:

Mobile cloud traffic grows 28-fold, with an annual growth rate of 95 percent, and its share of total mobile data traffic increases from 45 to 71 percent.

In four years, there are more than ten billion Internet-enabled mobile devices, including machines for machine communication (M2M).

More powerful mobile devices, especially tablet PCs, can transfer more and more data.

The speed of mobile networks will increase ninefold and allow correspondingly higher transfer rates.

The share of videos in mobile traffic will increase to more than 70 percent by 2016.

About the study

The Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast is based on analysts’ predictions and mobile data metrics. Based on this, Cisco has made its own estimates for the acceptance of mobile applications as well as the usage and data transfer rates. It included figures for mobile broadband speed and device performance.

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