"More" is the Story in Latest Cisco Mobile Visual Networking Index

“More” always is the story every time Cisco issues another edition of its Visual Networking Index, including the mobile VNI. As a financial analyst might summarize each report, the “trend is up and to the right.”

Global mobile data traffic grew 74 percent in 2015, reaching 3.7 exabytes per month at the end of 2015, up from 2.1 exabytes per month at the end of 2014.

Mobile data traffic has grown 4,000-fold over the past 10 years and almost 400-million-fold over the past 15 years.

More "what" tends to be the new part of the story.

Fourth-generation (4G) traffic exceeded third-generation (3G) traffic for the first time in 2015.

Although 4G connections represented only 14 percent of mobile connections in 2015, they already account for 47 percent of mobile data traffic, while 3G connections represented 34 percent of mobile connections and 43 percent of the traffic.

In 2015, a 4G connection generated six times more traffic on average than a non‑4G connection. That has been the clear trend since people started using smartphones on 3G and 4G networks.

In 2015, on an average, a smart device generated 14 times more traffic than on basic devices.

Mobile offload also exceeded mobile network traffic for the first time in 2015. In other words, the fixed network now directly supports the majority of mobile device data usage.

Some 51 percent of total mobile data traffic was offloaded onto the fixed network through Wi-Fi or femtocell in 2015.

As now is the clear case, video traffic now drives data bandwidth consumption, accounting for 55 percent of total mobile data traffic in 2015. Mobile video traffic now accounts for more than half of all mobile data traffic.

The fundamental projections also are a story of “more.” Global mobile data traffic will increase nearly 800 percent between 2015 and 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 53 percent from 2015 to 2020.

Mobile network connection speeds will increase more than threefold by 2020. Where the average mobile network connection speed was 2 Mbps in 2015 average speeds will reach nearly 6.5 Mbps by 2020.

By 2020, 4G will represent nearly 41 percent of connections, but 72 percent of total traffic.

By 2020, a 4G connection will generate 3.3 times more traffic on average than a non-4G connection.

Globally, 67 percent of mobile devices will be smart devices by 2020, up from 36 percent in 2015.

The vast majority of mobile data traffic (98 percent) will originate from these smart devices by 2020, up from 89 percent in 2015. Also, 75 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2020.

Mobile video will increase 11-fold between 2015 and 2020.

The average smartphone will generate 4.4 GB of traffic per month by 2020, nearly a fivefold increase over the 2015 average of 929 MB per month.

By 2020, aggregate smartphone traffic will be 8.8 times greater than it is today, with a CAGR of 54 percent.

The Middle East and Africa will have the strongest mobile data traffic growth of any region with a 71‑percent CAGR. This region will be followed by Asia Pacific at 54 percent and Central and Eastern Europe at 52 percent.

Global Mobile Devices (Excluding M2M) by 2G, 3G, and 4G

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