The newest projections from Cisco call for worldwide mobile data traffic to increase nearly 11-fold over the next four years and reach an annual run rate of 190 exabytes by 2018.
The projected increase in mobile traffic is partly due to continued strong growth in the number of mobile Internet connections, such as personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, which will exceed 10 billion by 2018 and be 1.4 times greater than the world’s population (the United Nations estimates 7.6 billion people by 2018).
Putting some of these gargantuan numbers into perspective, the Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast’s annual run rate of 190 exabytes of mobile data traffic for 2018 is equivalent to:
- 190 times more than all Internet Protocol (IP) traffic, fixed and mobile, generated in 2000; or
- 42 trillion images (e.g., multimedia message service or Instagram)—15 daily images per person on earth for a year; or
- 4 trillion video clips (e.g., YouTube)—more than one daily video clip per person on earth for a year.
“The incremental amount of traffic being added to the mobile Internet just between 2017 and 2018 is 5.1 exabytes per month,” Cisco summarizes, “which is more than three times the estimated size of the entire mobile Internet in 2013 (1.5 exabytes per month).”
To learn more, check out the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2013 to 2018.