At this stage, telling anyone that we live in a mobile world seems more or less pointless. Our phones are hardwired into our daily lives and, for many of us, can seem more like artificial limbs than everyday devices. They’ve changed the world too. Web designers now think about how you’ll experience a site on a phone or tablet before they think about how you’ll see it on a desktop.
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Apps meanwhile have gone from single function curiosities to powerful tools that allow us to do everything from hailing private cars to making investments on the fly.
Given that we’ve come so far since the first cellphone call was made 42 years ago, where are we likely headed to next?
Well, global networking powerhouse Cisco has lifted the cloth on its crystal ball and offered up its predictions for where mobile and mobile data are going in the next few years. And if it’s anywhere near right, then we’re in for some astonishing growth in both spaces.
1. Global mobile data traffic will increase nearly tenfold between 2014 and 2019
Mobile data traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57% from 2014 to 2019, reaching 24.3 exabytes per month by 2019.
2. By 2019 there will be nearly 1.5 mobile devices for every person on the planet
There will be 11.5 billion mobile-connected devices by 2019, including M2M modules—exceeding the world’s projected population at that time (7.6 billion).
3. Mobile network connection speeds will increase more than twofold by 2019
The average mobile network connection speed (1.7 Mbps in 2014) will reach nearly 4.0 megabits per second (Mbps) by 2019. By 2016, average mobile network connection speed will surpass 2.0 Mbps.
4. By 2019, 4G will be 26% of connections, but 68% of total traffic
By 2019, a 4G connection will generate 10 times more traffic on average than a non-4G connection.
5. By 2019, more than half of all devices connected to the mobile network will be “smart” devices
Globally, 54% of mobile devices will be smart devices by 2019, up from 26 percent in 2014. The vast majority of mobile data traffic (97 percent) will originate from these smart devices by 2019, up from 88% in 2014.
6. By 2019, 54% of all global mobile devices could potentially be capable of connecting to an IPv6 mobile network
More than 6.2 billion devices will be IPv6-capable by 2019.
7. Nearly three-fourths of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2019
Mobile video will increase 13-fold between 2014 and 2019, accounting for 72% of total mobile data traffic by the end of the forecast period.
8. By 2019, mobile-connected tablets will generate nearly double the traffic generated by the entire global mobile network in 2014
The amount of mobile data traffic generated by tablets by 2019 (3.2 exabytes per month) will be 1.3 times higher than the total amount of global mobile data traffic in 2014 (2.5 exabytes per month).
9. The average smartphone will generate 4.0 GB of traffic per month by 2019
That’s a fivefold increase over the 2014 average of 819 MB per month. By 2019, aggregate smartphone traffic will be 10.5 times greater than it is today, with a CAGR of 60 percent.
10. By 2016, more than half of all traffic from mobile-connected devices (almost 14 exabytes) will be offloaded to the fixed network by means of Wi-Fi devices and femtocells each month
Without Wi-Fi and femtocell offload, total mobile data traffic would grow at a CAGR of 62 percent between 2014 and 2019, instead of the projected CAGR of 57 percent.
11. The Middle East and Africa will have the strongest mobile data traffic growth of any region with a 72% CAGR
This region will be followed by Central and Eastern Europe at 71 percent and Latin America at 59 percent.