By the end of this current year, 1.4 billion smartphones will be in use, according to a new study by ABI Research. Some 798 million of them will run Android, 294 million will run Apple’s iOS, and 45 million will run Windows Phone.
They’re data hogs. But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, says Cisco.
The average American used 752 MB/month last year on their smart phones. But by 2017, the average American will use 6.2 GB of data on their mobile devices each month, according to the latest annual Visual Networking Index released by Cisco (pdf).
By 2017, Cisco projects:
- Global mobile data traffic will reach 11.2 exabytes per month (134 exabytes annually); growing 13-fold from 2012 to 2017.
- Mobile video will represent 66% of all mobile data traffic.
- 45% of global mobile data traffic will be offloaded to fixed networks.
- Tablets will account for more than 12% of global mobile data traffic.
- 4G connections will account for 45% of global mobile data traffic.
- Smartphones, laptops, and tablets will drive 93 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2017.
- M2M traffic will represent 5 percent of 2017 global mobile data traffic.
- Basic handsets will account for the remaining 2 percent of global mobile data traffic in 2017.
LTE is roughly 10 times faster than 3G. If data costs stay the same five years down the road, the average user’s smartphone bill could grow significantly.
Of course the whole idea of LTE is to pack more people into the the same tower and bandwidth, thereby lowering costs.
While 4G deployment is a global phenomenon, regions such as North America (31 percent) and Western Europe (18 percent) will have the highest ratio of 4G connections by 2017 (Appendix B). Among countries Korea will have over 72 percent of the country’s total connections on 4G by 2017 with Japan having 36 percent of all its connections on 4G by 2017. US and China are going to lead the world in terms of their share of the total global
Mobile subscribers are growing rapidly and bandwidth demand due to data and video is increasing. Currently, a 4G connection generates 19 times more traffic than a non-4G connection.
Mobile M2M connections continue to increase. The next 5 years are projected to provide unabated mobile video adoption despite uncertain macroeconomic conditions in many parts of the world. Backhaul capacity must increase so mobile broadband, data access, and video services can effectively support consumer usage trends and keep mobile infrastructure costs in check.
The Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast relies in part upon data published by Informa Telecoms and Media, Strategy Analytics, Infonetics, Ovum, Gartner, IDC, Dell’Oro, Synergy, ACG Research, Nielsen, comScore, Arbitron Mobile, Maravedis and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Cisco, which sells network equipment, applies adoption rates for applications, and then multiplies the application’s user base by Cisco’s estimated minutes of use and KB per minute for that application.
The most recent Ericsson Mobility Report (November 2012), says total smartphone subscriptions were 1.1 billion at the end of 2012 and will accelerate to 3.3 billion in 2018. Ericsson has projected LTE will reach around 1.6 billion subscriptions by 2018.