More Users, More Devices Mean Mobile Traffic Will Surge, Cisco Says

1 - More Users, More Devices Mean Mobile Traffic Will Surge, Cisco Says
2 - The Amount of Traffic Is Only Going Up
3 - What Does 367 Exabytes Even Look Like?
4 - More Mobile Users Mean More Mobile Traffic
5 - Mobile Connections Also on the Rise
6 - And Those Connections Are Getting Smarter
7 - Gotta Have a Mobile Phone
8 - M2M Connections and Wearables on the Rise
9 - Mobile Device Users Like Their Videos
10 - 4G Makes Its Mark
11 - The Evolution of Cellular
12 - The Speed of Mobile Networks Is Increasing as Well
13 - It's Not All About Cellular
14 - WiFi Networks Also Will Take More of the Load
15 - Voice over WiFi Primed for Growth
16 - IPv6 Coming on Strong
17 - Things Are Moving Fast in the Middle East and Africa
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More Users, More Devices Mean Mobile Traffic Will Surge, Cisco Says

Cisco Systems predicts an increase in the use of mobile device and mobile networks by 2020, and that more than 5 billion people will have mobile devices by then.

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The Amount of Traffic Is Only Going Up

By 2020, data traffic running across mobile networks worldwide will hit almost 367 exabytes a year, an eightfold increase from the 44 exabytes in 2015.

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What Does 367 Exabytes Even Look Like?

According to Cisco, it's 367 times more traffic than what was generated in 2000, and equivalent to 81 trillion images—such as those on Instagram—or 7 trillion video clips (such as on YouTube), or more than 2.5 video clips per day per person for a year.

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More Mobile Users Mean More Mobile Traffic

Last year, there were 4.8 billion people in the world using mobile devices. That will jump to 5.5 billion by 2020, about 70 percent of the expected population by that year. The number of global mobile users is growing twice as fast as the global population.

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Mobile Connections Also on the Rise

The number of mobile connections will jump from 7.9 billion last year to 11.6 billion in 2020. Of those, 8.5 billion will be personal devices and 3.1 billion machine-to-machine (M2M) connections.

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And Those Connections Are Getting Smarter

By 2020, 72 percent of those mobile devices and connections will be smart systems (twice that of last year), with smartphones dominating the mobile traffic. They will account for 81 percent of total global mobile traffic by 2020, up from 76 percent in 2015.

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Gotta Have a Mobile Phone

At the rate mobile phones—including "phablets"—are proliferating, by 2020 more people will have mobile phones (5.4 billion) than electricity (5.3 billion), running water (3.5 billion) and cars (2.8 billion).

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M2M Connections and Wearables on the Rise

Global M2M connections will make up 26.4 percent of mobile-connected devices in 2020, generating 6.7 percent of all mobile traffic. The number of wearables will grow sixfold during that time, with more than 600 million such devices in use by 2020. There were 97 million last year.

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Mobile Device Users Like Their Videos

Last year, video accounted for 55 percent of all mobile traffic. By 2020, that number will jump to 75 percent.

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4G Makes Its Mark

Cisco officials said the growth in 4G networks was faster than they had expected. By 2020, 4G connections will account for 40.5 percent of all mobile connections, an increase from 13.7 percent last year. 4G traffic will grow by 13 times between 2015 and 2020.

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The Evolution of Cellular

3G connections will bypass 2G connections by 2017, while by 2020, 4G will surpass all other connections, something Cisco officials didn't expect to have happen until a year later.

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The Speed of Mobile Networks Is Increasing as Well

The average global mobile network speeds will grow 3.2 times between 2015—when it was 2.0M bps—and 2020, when it will be 6.5M bps. 4G adoption worldwide will be the key reason for this.

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It's Not All About Cellular

The number of WiFi hotspots will grow sevenfold, from 64 million in 2015 to 432 million by 2020. Home hotspots will go from 57 million last year to 423 million in 2020.

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WiFi Networks Also Will Take More of the Load

Last year, monthly WiFi offload traffic hit 3.9 exabytes, exceeding monthly mobile/cellular traffic (3.7 exabytes) for the first time. By 2020, 38.1 exabytes of WiFi offload traffic will be generated each month, compared with 30.6 exabytes of mobile/cellular traffic.

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Voice over WiFi Primed for Growth

This year, VoWiFi will exceed voice over LTE (VoLTE) in the number of minutes used, and by 2020, VoWiFi minutes of use will account for 53 percent of all mobile IP voice traffic.

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IPv6 Coming on Strong

Sixty-six percent of mobile devices and connections will be IPv6-capable in 2020, up from 36 percent last year. In addition, IPv6 traffic will account for 54 percent of total mobile data traffic in 2020, an increase from 13 percent in 2015.

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Things Are Moving Fast in the Middle East and Africa

In those two regions, mobile data traffic will grow 15 times between 2015 and 2020. Asia-Pacific will see ninefold growth, followed by Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America each at eight times and North America and Western Europe at six times.

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