In 2014, 88 percent of global mobile data traffic was considered Smart traffic, with advanced computing or multimedia capabilities and a minimum of 3G connectivity, but that figure is expected to rise to 97 percent by 2019.
The worldwide shift to smartphones -- combined with the continued growth in media tablets, as well as expanding machine-to-machine (M2M) wireless applications -- are key factors supporting the increasing Smart traffic trend.
From a global mobile network perspective, 3G is expected to surpass 2G as the top cellular technology, based on connection share, by 2017.
By 2019, 3G networks will support 44 percent of global mobile devices and connections; 4G networks will support 26 percent of connections, though will generate 68 percent of traffic.
The updated market study also projects that global mobile data traffic will reach an annual run rate of 292 exabytes by 2019 -- that's up from 30 exabytes in 2014.
"The ongoing adoption of more powerful mobile devices and wider deployments of emerging M2M applications, combined with broader access to faster wireless networks, will be key contributors to significant mobile traffic growth in the coming years," said Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Products and Solutions Marketing at Cisco.
Rapid Growth of Mobile Cloud Traffic
Cloud applications and services such as Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify allow mobile users to overcome the memory capacity and processing power limitations of mobile devices.
Besides, the ongoing adoption of enterprise mobility applications will be a significant factor in the rapid growth of mobile cloud traffic during the forecast period. Mobile cloud traffic will grow nearly 11-fold from 2014 (2 exabytes/month) to 2019 (21.8 exabytes/month).
In 2014, cloud applications accounted for 81 percent of total mobile data traffic; by 2019, cloud applications will account for 90 percent of total mobile data traffic.
Key Regional Growth Projections
In terms of mobile data traffic growth rates over the forecast period, the Middle East and Africa region is projected to have the highest regional growth rate. Below is how each of the regions ranks in terms of growth rate by 2019:
- The Middle East and Africa will have a 72 percent CAGR and 15.3-fold growth
- Central and Eastern Europe will have a 71 percent CAGR and 14.4-fold growth
- Asia-Pacific will have a 58 percent CAGR 9.7-fold growth
- Latin America will have a 59 percent CAGR and 10.1-fold growth
- North America will have a 47 percent CAGR and 6.8-fold growth
- Western Europe will have a 48 percent CAGR and 7.1-fold growth
See how the rapid evolution of mobile services to a virtualized cloud computing environment creates more than $500 billion in new opportunity by 2019. Find out more by using the Cisco Monetization and Optimization Index (MOI). It enables you to forecast your specific market in cloud, mobile or video services.