Mobile Data Consumption Will Grow an Order of Magnitude in 5 Years

Global mobile data traffic to reach almost 13.5 terabytes per month in 2018, iGR forecasts, propelled by a combination of more mobile data users and higher consumption by each user.

The iGR estimate is that, in 2013, approximately 1.4 million terabytes of mobile data traffic flowed over the world’s cellular data networks per month, and by 2018, iGR forecasts mobile data traffic will rise to 13.5 million terabytes per month.

Few would be surprised by such forecasts. Cisco has estimated global mobile data traffic grew 81 percent in 2013, reached 1.5 exabytes per month (1 exabyte is 1,048,576 terabytes)
at the end of 2013, up from 820 petabytes per month at the end of 2012.

What might be more relevant is the contribution various types of devices will have, as drivers of total data consumption. Notebooks and tablets represent higher rates of usage, but smartphones are more prevalent.

Smartphones will be the devices driving the overwhelming majority of data traffic, Cisco predicts.

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