A new study conducted by Strategy Analytics has predicted that mobile data use will grow by 300 per cent by 2017, driven by continued growth in streaming video and web traffic.
This would equate to a peak total of 21 Exabytes of wireless data traffic that year, up from just 5 Exabytes in 2012, although this will represent a slowdown in the recent pattern of doubling traffic annually as the market approaches saturation.
Incorporating all types of handsets (excluding tablets) currently in operation globally the figures also indicate that the growth in traffic is arising principally from mobile websites – not apps.
Mobile web browsing is predicted to increase by 30 per cent annually until 2017.
Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, director of the Wireless Networks and Platforms service at Strategy Analytics, said: “More and more mobile carriers are concerned about cost effective delivery of a good mobile video experience on smartphones over 3G, 4G and WiFi. More critically, carriers are asking how to monetize this growth in video traffic to profit from major investments made in LTE and other network upgrades.”