The increase is partly due to growth in number of mobile internet connections, the report said.
The forecast’s annual run rate of 134 exabytes of mobile data traffic is equivalent to 30 trillion images via MMS or Instagram or 134 times more than the Internet traffic generated in the year 2000.
The mobile data traffic growth will be at 66% compounded annual growth rate.
Interesting trends from the report
- More mobile users: By 2017, there will be 5.2 billion mobile users (up from 4.3 billion in 2012)
- There will be more than 10 billion mobile devices by 2017.
- Average global mobile network speeds will increase seven-fold from 2012 (0.5 Mbps) to 2017 (3.9 Mbps)
- Mobile video will represent 66 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2017.
Impact of Mobile Devices/Connections
- Smartphones, laptops, and tablets will drive 93 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2017.
- M2M traffic (such as GPS systems in cars, asset tracking systems, medical applications, etc.) will represent 5 percent of 2017 global mobile data traffic.
- Basic handsets will account for the remaining 2 percent of global mobile data traffic in 2017.
Traffic Offload from Mobile Networks to Fixed Networks
To address the rise in demand for mobile Internet, and to address the lack of available new mobile spectrum and the expense and complexity of adding new macrocell sites, service providers are increasingly looking to offload traffic to fixed or Wi-Fi networks, the report said.
- In 2012, 33 percent of total mobile data traffic was offloaded (428 petabytes/month).
- By 2017, 46 percent of total mobile data traffic will be offloaded (9.6 exabytes/month).
Key Regional Growth Projections
- The Middle East and Africa: 77 percent CAGR (17.3-fold growth)
- Asia-Pacific: 76 percent CAGR (16.9-fold growth)
- Latin America: 67 percent CAGR (13.2-fold growth)
- Central and Eastern Europe: 66 percent CAGR (12.8-fold growth)
- North America: 56 percent CAGR (9.4-fold growth)
- Western Europe: 50 percent CAGR (7.6-fold growth)
In terms of mobile data traffic generation, the Asia-Pacific region is projected to generate the most mobile data traffic. Here’s how each of the regions rank in terms of anticipated mobile data traffic generation by 2017:
- Asia-Pacific: 5.3 exabytes/month
- North America: 2.1 exabytes/month
- Western Europe: 1.4 exabytes/month
- The Middle East and Africa: 0.9 exabytes/month
- Central and Eastern Europe: 0.8 exabytes/month
- Latin America: 0.7 exabytes/month
Recommended read: 2012 Recap : The Year Mobile Internet Surpassed Desktop Internet in India