Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index Forecast suggests us an intriguing glimpse into the future with whopping figures related to the mobile data traffic and activations. In a nutshell, the company projects 18 fold growth in global mobile internet data traffic until 2016, the mobile cloud traffic expected to account for 71% meaning 7.6 exabytes per month, of total mobile data traffic. In 2016, the mobile data traffic will reach at 130 exabytes for the whole year.
As exabyte might sound quite an abstract notion, good enough for specialists, Cisco also provides a definition and some reference points. “An exabyte is a unit of information or computer storage equal to 1 quintillion bytes,” explains Cisco and the 2016 mobile traffic of 130 exabytes could be translated into 33 billion DVDs worth of data or 4.3 quadrillion MP3 files (music/audio) or, if you prefer, 813 quadrillion short message service (SMS) text messages. The tablets will generate most of the traffic, and this could be easily noticed today. However, the growing trend will have a faster pace. In 2016 the data traffic generated by tablets will be four times the total mobile traffic from 2010, in any given time unit.
And Cisco’s prediction doesn’t stop here. Apparently in 2016 there will be much more mobile devices than people. “There will be more than 10 billion mobile Internet-connected devices in 2016, including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules — exceeding the world’s projected population at that time of 7.3 billion,” says Cisco report. The machine-to-machine devices, mainly used in billboard advertising, GPS systems,will account for 2 billion connections and individuals will own the remaining 8 million wireless devices, over 90% of them being portable: smartphones, laptops, or tablets.