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Cisco Lowers Wireless Growth Rate Predictions Yet Again
by Karl Bode 04:27PM Friday Feb 07 2014
Cisco's latest Visual Networking Index is chock full of interesting data nuggets on Internet and wireless growth, like the fact that global mobile data traffic grew 81% in 2013, reaching 1.5 exabytes per month at year's end. Cisco points out that last year's wireless data traffic alone was 18 times the size of the entire global Internet back in 2000. More specifically, one exabyte of traffic traveled the global Internet in 2000, while mobile networks in 2013 carried roughly 18 exabytes of traffic.

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Cisco predicts that monthly global mobile data traffic will surpass 15 exabytes by 2018, and the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world's population by 2014. Cisco also predicts that by 2018 there will be more traffic offloaded from cellular networks (on to Wi-Fi) than remain on cellular networks.

Several other data points of note from the study:

• Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent for the first time in 2012, comprising 53% of traffic by year's end.

• Average mobile network connection speeds more than doubled in 2013, up to 1,387 kilobits per second (Kbps), up from 526 Kbps in 2012.

• 4G connections generated 14.5 times more traffic on average than non 4G connections in 2013. 4G connections account for 2.9% of mobile connections, but 30% of mobile data traffic.

• The top 1 percent of mobile data subscribers generated 10 percent of mobile data traffic in 2013.

• Average smartphone usage grew 50 percent in 2013, from 353 MB per month in 2012 to 529 MB per month in 2013.

• North America led data consumption, with the average mobile subscriber consuming 1.38 GBs a month, up from 752 MBs.

Not highlighted by Cisco for obvious reasons is the fact that while all of this growth remains impressive, Cisco has again scaled back previous growth projections for wireless data growth. The company has faced repeated criticism for stoking fears of "spectrum crunch" to sell hardware, while rather quietly scaling data growth projections down (see this blog post by Tim Farrar for more detail).

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Wondering when will they finally wake up to data compression that worked so fabulously in MNP-5 and v.42bis?
Raleigh, NC

Re: Cute.

The same day mp3, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and SSL can be (further) compressed, in real-time.

Cleveland, OH

More importantly

As noted in the comments of that blog, no one besides dish is bidding on the H block spectrum. What isn't mentioned is that this same pattern is playing out across Europe. Far from being overwhelmed by traffic growth, mobile providers are awash in a glut of spectrum. And yet they have 2 GB caps with massive overages.
Raleigh, NC

Re: More importantly

Right. Because they own 99% of the spectrum, they can sit on it and keep anyone else from competing. I'm all for usage requirements for spectrum licenses... if you don't use it, we auction it to someone else.
Space Elf
Mullica Hill, NJ

Maybe growth is just low for Cisco

After all they are not the only maker of products that support our "wireless world". They are not the cheapest and they are not the tip top of quality or value.

The networking world is not exactly a crowded place in the realm of carrier grade hardware, But its also not without multiple companies.
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

South Bend, IN



This sounds much like the "Water is wet, didn't you know"? argument.

So, you mean to tell me that there is more data being used because more people have more devices that use more data?

Who would have thought.