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February 7, 2013

Cisco forecasts mobile devices to exceed human population by 2017

About 93% of mobile data traffic will be driven by smartphones, laptops and tablets.

By CBR Staff Writer

The number of smart phones, tablets and laptops are anticipated to outnumber humans, according to a new report from Cisco.

Cisco’s Visual Networking Index for global mobile data traffic forecast that the rise in use of smart phones and tablets is expected to exceed seven billion, which is the world’s current population.

The report also projects that global mobile data traffic would increase 13-fold through 2017 and reach 11.2 exabytes per month, with more than 10 billion mobile-connected devices.

"With such dramatic adoption, we are rapidly approaching the time when nearly every network experience will be a mobile one and, more often than not, a visual one as well," Cisco service provider networking marketing vice president, Doug Webster, said.

"This trend is a result of the seemingly insatiable demand by consumers and businesses alike to achieve the benefits gained when connecting people, data, and things in an internet of everything," he added.

According to the firm, the global mobile data traffic would out pace global fixed data traffic three times as mobile users are expected to reach 5.2 billion by 2017 over the existing 4.3 billion in 2012.

The number of mobile connections are also anticipated to reach 10 billion, including 1.7 billion M2M connections, while the average global mobile network speeds would reach 3.9 Mbps, a seven-fold rise from 0.5 Mbps in 2012.

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By 2017, mobile video is expected to capture 66% of global mobile data traffic, up from 51% 2013.

The majority of global mobile data traffic is expected to be driven by smart phones, laptops, and tablets, while M2M traffic would capture 5% of data traffic with basic handsets grasping 2%.

IPv6-capable mobile-connected devices and connections are expected to rise by 41% to 4.2 billion by 2017, over 14% in 2012.

The Middle East and Africa region are expected to witness the highest mobile data traffic growth rates of 77% through 2017, followed by Asia-Pacific (76%), Latin America (67%), Central and Eastern Europe (66%), North America (56%) and Western Europe (50%).

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