Mobile data traffic is set to increase 13X over the next four years, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month by 2017. The expected increase in mobile traffic is partly due to continued strong growth in the number of mobile Internet connections including personal devices and machine-to-machine applications, according to a new report by Cisco.

An exabyte is a unit of information or computer storage equal to one quintillion bytes.

In the next four years – global mobile data traffic will be representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 66 percent, the report said. The incremental amount of traffic being added to the mobile Internet just between 2016 and 2017 is 3.7 exabytes per month, which is more than 4x of the estimated size of the entire mobile Internet in 2012 (885 petabytes per month).Cisco mobile data screenshotIn India mobile Internet has already surpassed Desktop Internet in 2012.

Cisco report anticipates that global mobile data traffic will outpace global fixed data traffic by 2017. The study attributes growth of mobile users from 4.3 billion in 2012 to 5.2 billion by 2017, 10 billion mobile devices and faster Internet on mobile will drive the usages of mobile data.

In 2012 video grabbed 51 percent of global mobile data, however study expects it to represent 66 percent by 2017. In terms of mobile data traffic generation, the Asia-Pacific region is projected to generate the most mobile data traffic – 5.3 exabytes per month.

By 2017, 4G traffic will grow 40-fold with 109 percent CAGR globally. Currently, 14 percent of all mobile-connected devices/connections (1 billion) are IPv6-capable, however it will touch 41 percent (4.2 billion) in the next five years.

Presently, 2G powered 76 percent of global mobile devices while 3G and 4G supported 23 and 1 percent. However, by 2017 3G will power 57 percent mobile devices and 2G usages will decline by 24 percent globally.

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