Mobile Networks Generate 80% of All Internet Traffic

With access to unlicensed spectrum, mobile networks probably would collapse. 

Globally, about 80 percent of all Internet data is generated by the mobile network, says Robert Pepper, Cisco VP.

Wi-Fi offload is about 66 percent of all mobile data consumption, and will reach 71 percent within about five years.

Mobile service providers might still prefer to operate their businesses using licensed spectrum, but unlicensed spectrum now is necessary, since the mobile network likely could not easily support all the traffic people already use.

When AT&T introduced the Apple iPhone in June 2007, almost no AT&T customers used a smartphone, so AT&T had no firm idea of the impact adoption would have on its network.

By the the end of the first quarter of 2012, 59 percent, or 41.2 million, of AT&T's postpaid subscribers had smartphones, lifting AT&T mobile data traffic 20,000 percent in five years.

In fact, AT&T mobile data volume has doubled every year since 2007. “It’s been a challenging year for us,” said John Donovan, AT&T CTO, said in 2009.

“Overnight we’re seeing a radical shift in how people are using their phones,” Donovan said. “There’s just no parallel for the demand.”

In many cases, iPhone users were consuming an order of magnitude more data than users of other smartphones and 24 times more data than feature phone customers.
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