Mobile data traffic in Canada to leap in next five years: Cisco

If you want to know why wireless carriers are expected to eagerly bid for frequencies during the ongoing 700MHz spectrum auction, the latest projections from Cisco Systems Inc. should explain all.

Mobile traffic in Canada is expected to increase from the current 28.6 petabytes a month to 246.8 PB a month by 2015, the network equipment maker said Wednesday in its annual global mobile traffic forecast report.

That’s an increase of almost 800 per cent over the next five years.

The number of machine-to-machine (M2M) connections in Canada will grow 7.7 times to reach 24 million modules

Globally, monthly mobile data traffic will surpass 15 exabytes by 2018 – nearly 11 times the amount today — the report says, with 66 per cent of the traffic coming from smart phones. With sales of tablets increasing every month, its no surprise to learn that mobile traffic from tablets will exceed15 per cent of all traffic by 2016.

“Such growth is not only indicative of mobility becoming a critical characteristic of almost every network experience and the value consumers and businesses alike place on it, but it also represents the immense opportunities ahead for service providers who sit at the center of the Internet of Everything,” Doug Webster, Cisco’s vice-president of products and solutions marketing said in a statement.

And while the appetite for faster speeds will continue to increase – 4G traffic will account for more than half of the total mobile traffic by 2018 – cellular networks won’t be able to handle it all and users will look to less expensive Wi-Fi when they can. So Cisco [Nasdaq: CSCO] believes there will be more traffic offloaded from cellular networks onto Wi-Fi networks – mainly in homes — than will stay on cellular by 2018. (Today 45 per cent of mobile data traffic is Wi-Fi. Five years from now it will be 52 per cent.)

Thanks to the increase in Internet-connected devices – including industrial sensors, cars and watches – the number of mobile connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth by the end of this year.

Asia Pacific and North America will account for almost two-thirds of global mobile traffic five years from now, although the Middle East and Africa will grow fastest.

Much of the mobile traffic will be video, which will grow at a 69 per cent compound rate over the next five years. Only machine-to-machine traffic will grow faster.

Click here to read the full report




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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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