The Mobile Network in 2011 and 2012
- Global mobile data traffic grew 2.3-fold in 2011, more than doubling for the fourth year in a row. The 2011 mobile data traffic growth rate was higher than anticipated. Last year’s forecast projected that the growth rate would be 131 percent. This year’s estimate is that global mobile data traffic grew 133 percent in 2011.
- Last year’s mobile data traffic was eight times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000. Global mobile data traffic in 2011 (597 petabytes per month) was over eight times greater than the total global Internet traffic in 2000 (75 petabytes per month).
- Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent for the first time in 2011. Mobile video traffic was 52 percent of traffic by the end of 2011.
The Mobile Network Through 2016
- Global mobile data traffic will increase 18-fold between 2011 and 2016. Mobile data traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 78 percent from 2011 to 2016, reaching 10.8 exabytes per month by 2016.
- By the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2016 there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita. There will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices in 2016, including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules—exceeding the world’s population at that time (7.3 billion).
- Mobile network connection speeds will increase 9-fold by 2016. The average mobile network connection speed (189 kbps in 2011) will exceed 2.9 megabits per second (Mbps) in 2016.
- In 2016, 4G will be 6 percent of connections, but 36 percent of total traffic. In 2016, a 4G connection will generate 9 times more traffic on average than a non-4G connection.
- By 2016, 39 percent of all global mobile devices could potentially be capable of connecting to an IPv6 mobile network. Over 4 billion devices will be IPv6-capable 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 percent of total mobile data traffic by the end of the forecast period.
- Mobile-connected tablets will generate almost as much traffic in 2016 as the entire global mobile network in 2012. The amount of mobile data traffic generated by tablets in 2016 (1.1 exabytes per month) will be approximately equal to the total amount of global mobile data traffic in 2012 (1.3 exabytes per month).
- The average smartphone will generate 2.6 GB of traffic per month in 2016, a 17-fold increase over the 2011 average of 150 MB per month. Aggregate smartphone traffic in 2016 will be 50 times greater than it is today, with a CAGR of 119 percent. (CAGR is Compounded Annual Growth rate.)