Growth in Smart Devices, Mobile Video, and 4G Networks to Drive Eight-fold Increase in
Mobile Data Traffic over the Next Five Years
Since 2000, when the first camera phone was introduced, the number of mobile users has quintupled. By 2020, there will be 5.5 billion mobile users, representing 70 percent of the global population, according to today’s release of the Cisco Visual Networking Index™ (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast (2015 to 2020). The adoption of mobile devices, increased mobile coverage, and demand for mobile content are driving user growth two times faster than the global population over the next five years. This surge of mobile users, smart devices, mobile video and 4G networks will increase mobile data traffic eight-fold over the next five years.
Smart mobile devices and connections are projected to represent 72 percent of total mobile devices and connections by 2020—up from 36 percent in 2015. Smart devices are forecasted to generate 98 percent of mobile data traffic by 2020. From an individual device perspective, smartphones are dominating mobile traffic. They will account for 81 percent of total mobile traffic by 2020—up from 76 percent in 2015. The proliferation of mobile phones, including “phablets” (a hybrid blend of smartphone and tablet features), is increasing so rapidly that more people will have mobile phones (5.4 billion) than electricity (5.3 billion), running water (3.5 billion) and cars (2.8 billion) by 2020.
Mobile video will have the highest growth rate of any mobile application. Consumer and business users’ demand for higher video resolution, more bandwidth, and processing speed will increase the use of 4G connected devices. 4G connectivity share is projected to surpass 2G by 2018 and 3G by 2020. 4G will represent more than 70 percent of all mobile traffic, and 4G connections will generate nearly six times more traffic per month than non-4G connections by 2020.
“Used extensively by consumer as well as enterprise segments, with impressive uptakes in both developed and emerging markets, mobility has proved to be transformational. The number of mobile subscribers is growing rapidly, and bandwidth demand for data and video is increasing. Mobile M2M connections continue to increase. The next 5 years are projected to provide unabated mobile video adoption. Considering all of this, backhaul capacity must increase so mobile broadband, data access, and video services can effectively support consumer usage trends and keep mobile infrastructure costs in check. Deploying next-generation mobile networks requires great deal of programmability, automation and service agility. With the proliferation of mobile and portable devices, there is an imminent need for networks to allow all these devices to be connected transparently, with the network providing high-performance computing and delivering enhanced real-time video and multimedia. This openness will broaden the range of applications and services that can be shared, creating a highly enhanced mobile broadband experience” said Sanjay Kaul, Managing Director, Service Provider Business, Cisco India & SAARC.
Mobile Data Traffic Projections and Trends: India Findings:
Mobile Users and Mobile Data Traffic
In India, there were 798.4 Million (61% of India’s population) mobile users in 2015, up 8% from 737.5 Million (58% of India’s population) in 2014. This will reach 990.2 Million (71% of India’s population) mobile users by 2020.
In India, mobile data traffic will grow 12-fold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 63% and reach 1.7 Exabytes per month by 2020 (the equivalent of 430 million DVDs each month), up from 148.9 Petabytes per month in 2015.
In India, mobile data traffic will account for 34% of Indian fixed and mobile data traffic by 2020, up from 11% in 2015 and mobile data traffic will grow 2 times faster than fixed IP traffic from 2015 to 2020.
In India, 54% of mobile connections will be ‘smart’ connections by 2020, up from 11% in 2015 and 92% of mobile data traffic will be ‘smart’ traffic by 2020, up from 53% in 2015. In India, mobile traffic per mobile-connected end-user device will reach 1,352 megabytes per month by 2020, up from 149 megabytes per month in 2015, a CAGR of 55%.
In 2015, The top 1% of mobile users generate 7% of mobile data traffic, down from 52% at the beginning of 2010 and the top 20% of mobile users generate more than half (59%) of the mobile data traffic per month.
Connections by Network Type: In India, 4G connections will grow 86-fold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 144% and reach 26.2% of total mobile connections by 2020, compared to 0.4% in 2015. 3G connections will be 52.6% of total mobile connections by 2020, compared to 15.7% in 2015. And 2G connections will be 19.7% of total mobile connections by 2020, compared to 83.9% in 2015
Consumer and Business Use: In 2015, India’s consumer mobile data traffic grew 1.9-fold, or 90% and is expected to grow 11.6-fold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 63%. India’s business mobile data traffic grew 1.9-fold, or 85% and is expected to grow 11.2-fold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 62%. Consumers will account for 90% of India’s Mobile data traffic, while business will account for 10% by 2020
Mobile Applications: In India, mobile video traffic will grow 20.8-fold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 83% and reach 1.2 Exabytes per month by 2020, up from 59.8 Petabytes per month in 2015. Video will be 72% of India’s mobile data traffic by 2020, compared to 40% at the end of 2015; while Streaming Audio will be 7% of India’s mobile data traffic by 2020, compared to 10% at the end of 2015. Filesharing will be 2% of India’s mobile data traffic by 2020 and Web and other data will be 19% of India’s mobile data traffic by 2020, compared to 48% at the end of 2015.
Mobile Connection Speeds: In India, the average mobile connection speed was 1,016 kbps in 2015. This average mobile connection speed will grow 3.1-fold (25% CAGR) from 2015 to 2020, reaching 3,122 kbps by 2020.
2015 Year in Review – India
Mobile Data Traffic
· In India, mobile data traffic was 148.9 Petabytes per month in 2015, the equivalent of 37 million DVDs each month or 410 million text messages each second.
· In 2015, India’s mobile data traffic grew 1.9-fold, or 89%.
· In India, mobile data traffic in 2015 was equivalent to (n/a)x the volume of Indian mobile traffic five years earlier (in 2010).
· In India, mobile data traffic grew 2.4 times faster than Indian fixed IP traffic in 2015.
· In India, the average mobile-connected end-user device generated 149 megabytes of mobile data traffic per month in 2015, up 75% from 85 megabytes per month in 2014.
· In India, the average smartphone generated 430 megabytes of mobile data traffic per month in 2015, up from 299 megabytes per month in 2014.
· In India, the average PC generated 1,648 megabytes of mobile data traffic per month in 2015, up from 1,430 megabytes per month in 2014.
· In India, the average tablet generated 1,671 megabytes of mobile data traffic per month in 2015, up from 885 megabytes per month in 2014.
Global Mobile Data Traffic Shows No Signs of Slowing Down
· By 2020:
o Global mobile data traffic will reach 30.6 exabytes per month—up from 3.7 exabytes in 2015.
o Annual global mobile data traffic will reach 366.8 exabytes—up from 44.2 exabytes in 2015.
· The forecast annual run rate of 366.8 exabytes of mobile data traffic for 2020 is equivalent to:
o 120X more than all global mobile traffic generated just 10 years ago in 2010.
o 81 trillion images (e.g., MMS or Instagram)—28 daily images per person on earth for a year.
o 7 trillion video clips (e.g., YouTube)—more than 2.5 daily video clips per person on earth for a year.
From 2015 to 2020, global mobile data traffic will grow two times faster than global fixed IP traffic.
o In 2015, 51 percent of total mobile data traffic was offloaded; by 2020, 55 percent of total mobile data traffic will be offloaded.
o By 2020, over 75 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video.
Mobile Devices and Connections Are Getting Smarter There will be 11.6 billion mobile-ready devices/connections—including 8.5 billion personal mobile devices and 3.1 billion M2M connections –up from 7.9 billion total mobile-ready devices and M2M connections in 2015.
Globally, 67 percent of mobile devices/connections will be ‘smart’ by 2020—up from 36 percent in 2015.
Globally, 98 percent of mobile data traffic will come from ‘smart’ devices/connections by 2020—up from 89 percent in 2015.
Smartphones, laptops, and tablets will drive about 92 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2020—down from 94 percent in 2015. M2M traffic will represent 7 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2020—up from 3 percent in 2015; while basic handsets will account for 1 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2020—down from 3 percent in 2015.
o 66 percent of mobile devices/connections will be IPv6-capable—up from 36 percent in 2015.
o IPv6 traffic will be 54 percent of total mobile data traffic—up from 13 percent in 2015.
Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Connections and Wearable Devices Continue to Rise
M2M refers to applications that enable wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same ability (e.g., GPS/navigation, asset tracking, utility meters, security/surveillance video, healthcare monitoring, et al.). Wearable devices can be worn (e.g., smart watches and health monitors) and communicate to the network either directly via embedded cellular connectivity or through another device (primarily a smartphone) via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. Wearable devices are a subset of the M2M category in the forecast.
· By 2020, M2M connections will represent 26.4 percent of mobile-connected devices—up from 7.7 percent in 2015.
· By 2020, M2M connections will generate 6.7 percent of total mobile traffic—up from 2.7 percent in 2015.
· Global wearables will grow six-fold from 2015 to 2020.
· By 2020, there will be more than 600 million wearable devices in use, up from nearly 97 million in 2015.
Mobile Network Speeds and 4G Connection Growth
Average global mobile network speeds will increase 3.2 fold from 2015 (2.0 Mbps) to 2020 (6.5 Mbps). Global 4G adoption is the primary catalyst for mobile speed improvements.
o 4G connections will account for 40.5 percent of all mobile connections–up from 13.7 percent in 2015).
o 3G connections will account for 38.7 percent of all mobile connections—up from 33.7 percent in 2015.
o 2G connections will account for 13.5 percent all mobile connections—down from 52.3 percent in 2015.
4G traffic will grow 13-fold from 2015 to 2020.
By 2020, 4G connections will account for 72 percent of total mobile data traffic—up from 47 percent of total mobile data traffic in 2015.
Wi-Fi Hotspots Are Growing
Globally, total Wi-Fi hotspots, including home spots, will grow 7X from 2015 (64 million) to 2020 (432 million). Globally, home spots will grow from 57 million (2015) to 423 million (2020).
In 2015, monthly Wi-Fi offload traffic (3.9 exabytes) exceeded monthly mobile/cellular traffic (3.7 exabytes) for the first time.
By 2020, 38.1 exabytes Wi-Fi offload traffic will be generated each month, continuing to exceed projected monthly mobile/cellular traffic (30.6 exabytes).
Voice-over-Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi) Primed for Growth
Given the growth and mobile networking role of Wi-Fi technologies, this year’s study again compares VoWi-Fi to other mobile voice services. Previous VoWi-Fi offerings had limitations that affected adoption and end-user experiences. Today’s carrier-grade VoWi-Fi services can be delivered to non-SIM devices, such as Wi-Fi-only tablets.
By 2016, VoWi-Fi will exceed VoLTE in the number of minutes used per year.
By 2018, VoWi-Fi will exceed VoIP in the number of minutes of used per year.
By 2020, VoWi-Fi minutes of use will account for half – 53 percent – of all mobile IP voice traffic.
By 2020, the number of Wi-Fi-capable tablets and PCs (1.7 billion) will be more than three times the number of cellular-capable tablets and PCs (548 million).
Regional Mobile Data Traffic Growth Rates (2015–2020)
1. The Middle East and Africa (15-fold growth)
2. Asia-Pacific (9-fold growth)
3. Central and Eastern Europe (8-fold growth)
4. Latin America (8-fold growth)
5. Western Europe (6-fold growth)
6. North America (6-fold growth)
Cisco Mobile VNI Forecast Methodology
The Cisco® VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast (2015-2020) relies upon independent analyst forecasts and real-world mobile data usage studies. Upon this foundation are layered Cisco’s own estimates for mobile application adoption, minutes of use and transmission speeds. Key enablers such as mobile broadband speed and device computing power are also factored into Cisco mobile VNI projections and findings. A detailed methodology description is included in the complete report (see link below).