I.T. and networking company Cisco has predicted that annual mobile data traffic worldwide will reach 3.6 exabytes (3.6 billion gigabytes) per month by 2014. That's a 39-fold increase from last year, which represents a compound annual growth rate of 108%.
Cisco says this increase is being driven by the popularity of mobile-ready devices and by mobile video consumption. Mobile video is expected to represent two-thirds of all mobile data traffic by 2014, increasing 66-fold from 2009.
The report also calculated that the average mobile broadband connection currently generates 1.3GB of traffic per month - equivalent to about 650 MP3 music files – but is projected to generate 7GB of traffic per month in 2014.
Doug Webster, Cisco's senior director of service provider marketing, said "Mobile data traffic is growing faster than expected five years ago. The rapid consumer adoption of smart phones, netbooks, e-readers and Web-ready video cameras as well as machine-to-machine applications like eHealth monitoring and asset-tracking systems, is continuing to place unprecedented demands on mobile networks. In spite of the economic downturn, the demand for mobile services has remained high, posing both challenges and opportunities for service providers worldwide."