Cisco has published some data highlighting how mobile video has many years of stellar growth ahead of it. By 2019, nearly three-fourths of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2019. Mobile video will increase 13-fold between 2014 and 2019, accounting for 72 percent of total mobile data traffic by the end of the forecast period.
The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update tracks and forecasts the impact of ‘visual networking applications’ on global networks. Both the current rates of growth and the projections for the future illustrate the scale and potential of the mobile video opportunity:
- Global mobile data traffic grew 69 percent in 2014. Global mobile data traffic reached 2.5 exabytes per month at the end of 2014, up from 1.5 exabytes per month at the end of 2013.
- Last year’s mobile data traffic was nearly 30 times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000. One exabyte of traffic traversed the global Internet in 2000, and in 2014 mobile networks carried nearly 30 exabytes of traffic.
- Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent of total mobile data traffic for the first time in 2012. Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent of total mobile data traffic by the end of 2012 and grew to 55 percent by the end of 2014.
- Almost half a billion (497 million) mobile devices and connections were added in 2014. Global mobile devices and connections in 2014 grew to 7.4 billion, up from 6.9 billion in 2013. Smartphones accounted for 88 percent of that growth, with 439 million net additions in 2014.
- Globally, smart devices represented 26 percent of the total mobile devices and connections in 2014; they accounted for 88 percent of the mobile data traffic. (For the purposes of this study, smart devices refers to mobile connections that have advanced multi-media/computing capabilities with a minimum of 3G connectivity.) In 2014, on an average, a smart device generated 22 times more traffic than a non-smart device.
- In 2014, a fourth-generation (4G) connection generated 10 times more traffic on average than a non‑4G connection. Although 4G connections represent only 6 percent of mobile connections today, they already account for 40 percent of mobile data traffic.
- The top 1 percent of mobile data subscribers generated 18 percent of mobile data traffic, down from 52 percent at the beginning of 2010. According to a mobile data usage study conducted by Cisco, the top 20 percent of mobile users generated 85 percent of mobile data traffic, and the top 1 percent generated 18 percent.
- In 2014, the number of mobile-connected tablets increased 1.6-fold to 74 million, and each tablet generated 2.5 times more traffic than the average smartphone. In 2014, mobile data traffic per tablet was 2,076 MB per month, compared to 819 MB per month per smartphone.
- 4G traffic will be more than half of the total mobile traffic by 2017.