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More Mobile Devices than People Soon: Cisco
There are supposed to be an estimated 10 billion mobile connections by 2016 – more than the 7.3 billion people on earth by then

The Internet highway may start looking like a proverbial New York traffic jam at rush hour soon.

Feel free to substitute any town you like because Cisco says there's going to be a faster-than-expected 18x surge in worldwide mobile data traffic between 2011 and 2016.

That's when mobile cloud traffic should account for 71% of total data traffic, or 10.3 exabytes a month, up from a mere 269 petabytes a month now, outgrowing global fixed data traffic by 3x.

That's like 33 billion DVDs or 4.3 quadrillion MP3 files.

There are supposed to be an estimated 10 billion mobile connections by 2016 - more than the 7.3 billion people on earth by then - or more than eight billion handheld or personal mobile-ready devices and nearly two billion machine-to-machine connections, such as GPS systems in cars, asset tracking systems in shipping and manufacturing and medical applications for making patient records more available.

Aside from all those connections, the traffic will be coming from more streamed content; fancier devices - tablets alone should create an exabyte of traffic a month; faster mobile speeds - the greater the speed, the more consumption; and more mobile video, a projected 71% of mobile data traffic in five years.

Cisco figures that three billion people will each generate more than a gigabyte of mobile data traffic a month.

Smartphone traffic in 2016 will be 50x greater than it is today, 119% CAGR. Mobile traffic originating from tablet devices will grow 62-fold from 2011 to 2016, the highest growth rate of any device category tracked, and 4G traffic will grow 112-fold, a 157% CAGR.

Smartphones, laptops, and other portable devices will drive about 90% of global mobile data traffic by 2016.

Cisco's study projects that 71% of all smartphones and tablets (1.6 billion devices) could be capable of connecting to an IPv6 mobile network by 2016 and that 39% of all global mobile devices (more than 4 billion) could be IPv6-capable by 2016.

Cisco reckons the Middle East and Africa will have the highest regional mobile data traffic growth with a CAGR of 104% or 36-fold growth followed by Asia-Pacific up 84% CAGR or 21-fold growth; Central and Eastern Europe up 83% CAGR or 21-fold growth; Latin America up 79% CAGR or 18-fold growth; North America up 75% CAGR or 17-fold growth; and Western Europe up 68% CAGR or 14-fold growth.

See the Cisco Visual Networking Index forecast at www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/white_paper_c11-520862.html.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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