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News  24, Feb 2013

By 2017, mobile Internet connections will exceed world’s population

Mobile Internet ConnectionAccording to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, worldwide mobile data traffic is expected to increase 13-fold in the next five years, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month by 2017. The number of mobile Internet connections on both personal devices are machine-to-machine (M2M) applications will then eventually exceed the world’s population, which is estimated to be 7.6 billion by the United Nations.

Equal to one quintillion bytes, an Exabyte is an immensely high amount of data traffic and is also equivalent to running 3 trillion video clips (Eg. YouTube). This is one daily video clip from each person on earth over a year.

The significant global mobile data traffic growth can also be attributed to trends such as increasing number of mobile users, mobile connections, fast mobile speeds, and more mobile videos available.

Statistics released by Cisco also reveal that by 2017, there will be 5.2 billion mobile users, up from 4.3 billion in 2012. There would also be more than 10 billion mobile-ready devices/connections, including more than 1.7 billion M2M connections. The average global mobile networks speeds will begin to increase sevenfold form 2012 from 0.5Mbps to 3.9Mbps.

By 2017, mobile videos will also represent 66% of global mobile data traffic, up from 51% in 2012.

This rise of mobile Internet devices has resulted in problems such as availability of new mobile spectrums and the lack of expenses and complexity of adding new macrocell sites. This means that service providers have to increasingly look at offloading traffic to fixed of Wi-Fi networks. In 2012, 33 percent of total mobile data traffic was offloaded (429 petabytes/month). By 2017, 46 percent of total mobile data traffic will be offloaded (9.6 exabytes/month).

In terms of mobile data traffic generation, the Asia-Pacific region is projected to generate the most mobile data traffic with 5.3 Exabytes per month while other regions such as Western Europe and North America will generate 1.4 and 2.1 Exabytes per month respectively.  This is not surprising since the Asia-Pacific regions houses several countries with high mobile Internet potential such as Indonesia.

Companies like Google has also launched new products to make the Internet faster and cheaper for “the next billion”. These billion people refer to the people who form the emerging markets that are beginning to embrace the Internet and technology as a path toward greater economic, social and cultural vitality, of many come from the Asia-Pacific region.

Not only will there be new potential entrepreneurs, small businesses and consumers expanding to both local and global markets, new business models will develop, cultures will spread, and new innovations will arise. The Internet will now be a place that better reflects the world’s true diversity.

“These statistics are results 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,” says Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Networking Marketing, Cisco. Apart from this, it could also mean a potential rise of new age entrepreneurs, small business and consumers that live in the digital age. As more and more people get connected to the Internet, the Internet will also become a place that better reflects the world’s true diversity.

Elizabeth Tan

Elizabeth Tan

A graduate from NUS and an alumnus of NUS Overseas College India, Elizabeth has written for several online publications ranging from community, to fitness and now, e27. Ever since her stint in India, she found herself increasingly interested in startups and wanting to immerse herself further into its ecosystem. She used to own her own blogshop and now co-runs a tech company. Elizabeth is also a certified yoga instructor, specializing in Ashtanga yoga and loves all things Thai. Sometimes, she even wishes she were Thai.

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