The number of mobile devices – and the amount of data they transmit – is increasing rapidly.
The number of mobile devices in use — including those used solely for machine-to-machine connections — will surpass the total number of people on earth at some point this year, according to a recent study of mobile data trends conducted by Cisco. There will be a total of 10 billion mobile-connected devices by 2016, the report says.
As the number of mobile devices out there increases, and those devices get more powerful, the amount of data being sent over mobile networks is rapidly increasing. In 2011, total mobile traffic more than doubled for the fourth year in a row. That included a three-fold increase in the amount of smartphone traffic.
One reason Cisco expects data use to increase so quickly: Mobile networks’ capabilities are increasing, too. The report predicts smartphone data speeds to to be four times faster than they are now in 2016, reaching an average of 5.2 Mbps.