Cisco sees mobile data go through the roof

Big, fat cat Cisco, maker of bespoke networking equipment, claims mobile data traffic will grow 26-fold in the five-year plan period between 2010 and 2015.

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2010 to 2015, a nice and short title, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will 92 percent, leading to 6.3 exabytes of data flowing down- and upstream each month in 2015. That would be a total of 75 exabytes in 2015, 75 times the amount of internet traffic back in 2000, the year civilisation was not obliterated.

Or, in more easily understandable terms, 75 exabytes is around “19 billion DVDs or 536 quadrillion SMS text messages”. Thank heavens for LTE, otherwise mobile operators would be suffering from severe constipation. Average smartphone connection speeds are prophesied to rise from 1.036 kbps in 2010 to 4.404 kbps in four years time.

Cisco VNI mobile data traffic forecast slide

This, naturally, will only be the case if earth doesn’t go bang in 2012, as people reckon the Mayans believed ages ago, without considering the Mayans never had a chance to reform their calendar.

Cisco sees “mobile-ready devices such as tablets and smart phones, and widespread video content consumption” being the driving forces behind oversensitive luddites having to make tin foil hats to protect themselves from the surge in mind-controlling microwaves. Good thing smartphones aren’t only internet-enabled but also “mobile-ready”, otherwise one wouldn’t be able to put them in pocket or bag and take them for walkies.

Over 5.6 billion “personal devices” will be connected to the internet by 2015, while there will be 1.4 billion machine-to-machine (M2M) nodes. Cisco not Crisco would like the readers of its study to know that this is basically equivalent to the world population.

M2M traffic will approximately be 285 per month in 2015, whereas tablets will generate 248 petabyte of traffic, more than the montly level of the entire mobile data traffic in 2010, which was 237 petabytes each month.

Cisco VNI mobile data traffic forecast slide 2

Alas, the starving recipients of Band Aid won’t get a free Cisco router, nor an iPad or anything similar, as people in First World countries will simply hog multiple devices to themselves.

Cisco seems to expect demand for tablets to soar, as the company states data traffic from such devices will have grown 205-fold by the end of 2015. Broken down by region, the Middle East and Africa will have the highest growth rates, namely a CAGR of 129 percent, or 63 times over the 2010 level by the end of 2015.

North America, i.e. the USA including Canada will witness 20-fold growth, whereas Western Europe shall see its mobile data traffic be 25 times as high as back then. India will be world leader in terms of growth rate, experiencing a CAGR of 158 percent, or, in other Cisco terms, 115-fold growth.

Interested parties can find the report right here.