updated 09:50 am EST, Tue February 14, 2012
Cisco annual report shows mobile data spikes
Cisco in a yearly state-of-affairs report on Tuesday showed both a rapid growth in data and aggressive predictions for the next four years. Mobile data use had grown 133 percent over the course of 2011, which it didn't see slowing down. As mobile viewers got more devices as well as faster connections, video use would become 70 percent of mobile data and lead to 18 times more data used per year in 2016, at 10.8 exabytes every month.
Nearly half of that, 48 percent, would come from smartphones, the router maker predicted. Tablets would play a large part as well, although they'd go from just one point in all of 2011 to 10 percent in 2016.
Device adoption was growing to the point where it was entirely possible that there would be more mobile hardware than people, according to Cisco. With a world population of 7.3 billion by 2016, there could be over 10 billion devices in use that same year.
Cloud use was helping spur on adoption. It would cross into majority use in mobile this year and become 71 percent of use in 2016, helped again by video.
Cisco argued that more wireless spectrum and Wi-Fi offloading was needed to avoid the likely congestion issues, although it disputed beliefs by carriers that throttiling was needed by noting that use would be spreading more equally among subscribers. Providers couldn't blame the top few percent, since 60 percent of all mobile users would be sipping over a gigabyte of data a month.
The Wi-Fi portion might come true, as Cisco saw the short-range wireless overtaking wired access a year earlier, moving up from 38 percent to 46.7 percent of traffic by 2015.