In today’s world of digital communications, privacy and tranquillity are at a premium. According to network firm Cisco’s latest analysis of global mobile data traffic, mobile devices will outnumber human beings by the end of 2012.
The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update is part of the comprehensive Cisco VNI Forecast, an ongoing initiative to track and forecast the impact of visual networking applications on global networks.
By 2016 it predicts that there will be 10 billion mobile connected devices around the world. By the same date networks will be carrying 130 exabytes of data each year, equivalent to 33 billion DVDs.
Mobile data traffic will reach the following milestones within the next five years:
• Monthly global mobile data traffic will surpass 10 exabytes in 2016.
• Over 100 million smartphone users will belong to the “gigabyte club” (over 1 GB per month) by 2012.
• The number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world’s population in 2012.
• The average mobile connection speed will surpass 1 Mbps in 2014.
• Due to increased usage on smartphones, handsets will exceed 50 percent of mobile data traffic in 2014.
• Tablets will exceed 10 percent of global mobile data traffic in 2016.
• China will exceed 10 percent of global mobile data traffic in 2016.
• Two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2016. Mobile video will increase 25-fold between 2011 and 2016, accounting for over 70% of total mobile data traffic by the end of the forecast period.
The impact on the natural and human environment is unexplored, but here are three reminders: