By 2021, Cisco predicts that 5.5 billion people will be using mobile phones – more than bank accounts, running water, landlines at 5.4 billion, 5.3 billion, and 2.9 billion respectively. This is fueled by growth in smartphone and Internet of Things (IoT) connections in 4G and soon to be 5G.

In its annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast (2016 to 2021), Cisco projects mobile data traffic to increase seven-fold over the next five years due to improvements in network speed and mobile video consumption.

This is being driven by an increasing stability of 4G networks, and soon 5G networks. The company predicts that we will see large-scale deployments of 5G infrastructure starting in 2020. If this happens in 2020, by 2021, Cisco anticipates 1.5 per cent of total mobile data traffic will be 5G, and it will generate 4.7 times more traffic than the average 4G connection.

“With the proliferation of IoT, live mobile video, augmented and virtual reality applications, and more innovative experiences for consumer and business users alike, 5G technology will have significant relevance not just for mobility but rather for networking as a whole,” said Cisco vice president of service provider marketing, Doug Webster.

“As a result, broader and more extensive architectural transformations involving programmability and automation will also be needed to support the capabilities 5G enables, and to address not just today’s demands, but also the extensive possibilities on the horizon.”

In regards to Canada, Cisco anticipates that mobile data traffic will grow five-fold from 2016 to 2021 with an annual growth rate of 36 per cent. Keep reading for more Canadian results from the index.

  • Mobile data traffic will reach 340.9 petabytes per month by 2021, up from 73.2 petabytes per month in 2016. That is the equivalent of 85 million DVDs each month.
  • Annual mobile data traffic will reach a rate of 4.1 exabytes by 2021 compared to the 0.9 exabytes in 2016.
  • Mobile data traffic will grow two times faster than fixed IP traffic from 2016 to 2021.
  • Mobile data traffic will account for seven per cent of Canadian fixed and mobile data traffic by 2021, up four per cent in 2016.
  • 98 per cent of mobile connections (excluding LPWA) will be ‘smart’ connections by 2021, up from 83 per cent in 2016.
  • 100 per cent of mobile data traffic will be ‘smart’ traffic by 2021, up from 99 per cent in 2016.

Further global highlights include:

  • Mobile data traffic will grow seven-fold from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 47 per cent.
  • Mobile data traffic will reach 49.0 exabytes per month by 2021, up from 7.2 exabytes per month in 2016. This is the equivalent of 12,238 million DVDs each month.
  • Mobile data traffic will reach an annual run rate of 587.4 exabytes by 2021, up from 86.9 exabytes in 2016.
  • Mobile data traffic will account for 20 per cent of global fixed and mobile data traffic by 2021, up from 8 per cent in 2016.
  • Mobile data traffic by 2021 will be equivalent to 122 times the volume of global mobile traffic ten years earlier in 2011.
  • 75 per cent of mobile connections will be ‘smart’ connections by 2021, up from 46 per cent in 2016.
  • 99 per cent of mobile data traffic will be ‘smart’ traffic by 2021, up from 92 per cent in 2016.

For more on the VNI Global Mobile Traffic Forecast (2016 to 2021), you can read more here.



Related Download
Breakthrough research with Databiology and IBM Spectrum Computing Sponsor: IBM
Breakthrough research with Databiology and IBM Spectrum Computing

Register Now