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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

February 1, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Cisco: Mobile traffic growing 26x, speeds 10x by 2015

It’s a day of amazing tech news, from Google and Bing executives publicly taking potshots at each other to Apple turning up the heat on the Kindle and Sony Reader.

But the biggest jaw-dropper for me is a report from Cisco, predicting outrageous growth in mobile data traffic over the next few years.

The networking giant is expecting mobile data traffic to grow 26 fold — at a compound annual growth rate of 92 percent — from 2010 to 2015. At that point mobile networks will be carrying 6.3 exabytes per month.

There will be more than 7.1 billion mobile devices connected by 2015 — close to one per person on the globe.

Mobile network speeds will increase 10-fold, from an average of 215 kilobits per second today to more than 2.2 megabits per second.

Two thirds of this traffic flood will be video — video traffic will more than double every year from now until 2015.

If you’ve got a metered smartphone plan, brace yourself.

The average smartphone will generate 1.3 gigabytes of traffic per month in 2015, up 16 times from the curent average of 79 megabytes per month.

Tablets are adding to the network crush. They’ll generate 248 petabytes of traffic per month by 2015 — equivalent to the total amount of mobile traffic in 2010.

But for data consumption, laptops will remain the top of heap. Last year laptops connected to mobile networks generated 22 times more traffic than the average smartphone, averaging 1.7 gigabytes per month. Tablets last year generated an average of 405 megabytes per month and smartphones, 79 MB.

Laptops and smartphones “will continue to generate a disproprorationate amount of traffic, but new device categories such as M2M (machine to machine) and tablets will begin to account for a significant portion of the traffic by 2015,” the report said.

Even more shocking: there are 48 million people in the world who own mobile phones, but don’t yet have electricity in their homes.

A few charts from the report, including mobile data forecast through 2015, and data forecast by device type:

cisco2.jpg

cisco 1.jpg

Here’s how much more traffic various devices generate, relative to a basic feature phone:

cisco3.jpg

Comments | More in | Topics: Enterprise, Telecom

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