Message to marketers with a mobile marketing strategy, or those considering one: By the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update.

The report offers some enlightening mobile statistics. Here are some of the report’s key prognostications:


• Monthly global mobile data traffic will surpass 10 exabytes in 2017.

• The number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world's population in 2013.

• The average mobile connection speed will surpass 1 Mbps in 2014.

• Due to increased usage on smartphones, handsets will exceed 50% of mobile data traffic in 2013.

• Monthly mobile tablet traffic will surpass 1 exabyte per month in 2017.

• Tablets will exceed 10% of global mobile data traffic in 2015.

Global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold between 2012 and 2017. Mobile data traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 66% from 2012 to 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month by 2017.

By the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2017 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita. There will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices in 2017, including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules-exceeding the world's population at that time (7.6 billion).

Mobile network connection speeds will increase 7-fold by 2017. The average mobile network connection speed (526 kbps in 2012) will exceed 3.9 megabits per second (Mbps) in 2017.

In 2017, 4G will account for 10% of connections, but 45% of total traffic. In 2017, a 4G connection will generate 8 times more traffic on average than a non-4G connection.

By 2017, 41% of all global mobile devices and connections could potentially be capable of connecting to an IPv6 mobile network. Over 4.2 billion devices and connections will be IPv6-capable in 2017.

Two-thirds of the world's mobile data traffic will be video by 2017. Mobile video will increase 16-fold between 2012 and 2017, accounting for over 66% of total mobile data traffic by the end of the forecast period.

Mobile-connected tablets will generate more traffic in 2017 than the entire global mobile network in 2012. The amount of mobile data traffic generated by tablets in 2017 (1.3 exabytes per month) will be 1.5 times higher than the total amount of global mobile data traffic in 2012 (885 petabytes per month).

The average smartphone will generate 2.7 GB of traffic per month in 2017, an 8-fold increase over the 2012 average of 342 MB per month. Aggregate smartphone traffic in 2017 will be 19 times greater than it is today, with a CAGR of 81%.

By 2017, almost 21 exabytes of mobile data traffic will be offloaded to the fixed network by means of Wi-Fi devices and femtocells each month. Without Wi-Fi and femtocell offload, total mobile data traffic would grow at a CAGR of 74% between 2012 and 2017 (16-fold growth), instead of the projected CAGR of 66% (13-fold growth).

The Middle East and Africa will have the strongest mobile data traffic growth of any region at 77% CAGR. This region will be followed by Asia Pacific at 76% and Latin America at 67%

Global mobile data traffic grew 70% in 2012, and growth rates varied widely by region. Western Europe, in particular, experienced a slowdown in mobile data traffic, with growth of 44% in 2012, substantially lower than the global average. Mobile data traffic in Asia Pacific, however, grew at 95% in 2012.

There were 161 million laptops on the mobile network in 2012, and each laptop generated seven times more traffic than the average smartphone. Mobile data traffic per laptop was 2.5 GB per month in 2012, up 11% from 2.3 GB per month in 2011.


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