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Profiting from the Rise of Wi-Fi

The amount of mobile data generated globally is growing very rapidly and shows no sign of abating. This growth is largely driven by smartphones, tablets and connected devices, as well as mobile applications and content.   The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) has been tracking this for quite some time – the latest update predicts that mobile data traffic will double globally in 2012 and increase by another 78 percent by 2014. 

In addition, there is a corresponding worldwide growth in the popularity of Wi-Fi. The number of Wi-Fi hotspots is expected to reach 2.7 million by 2014, with usage growing 200 percent. This growth is inspired by new enabling devices, recent technology improvements, public and private availability, and tiered mobile data plans from service providers. 

With this in mind, Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) has consulted with leading service providers from around the world to develop and evaluate 16 Wi-Fi business models that can provide a reasonable return on investment. Opportunities for monetization fall into four broad categories: (1) business effectiveness, (2) end-user services, (3) inter-carrier wholesale, and (4) value-added services.

For details about this and other interesting, provocative papers, go to the Service Provider Thought Leadership page of the IBSG web site.

Check it out . . .

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Updated! – Cisco Mobile Visual Networking Index

Over the past several years, Cisco introduced and has regularly updated and expanded its well-received Visual Networking Index (VNI), which projects IP traffic trends based upon independent analyst forecasts, mobile data usage surveys from operators and other primary research. 

As part of its VNI initiative, Cisco also developed the Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, and the most recent update has just been issued.

The updated forecast includes findings such as:

  • By 2016, global mobile data traffic will reach 10.8 exabytes per month (or 130 exabytes annually). Global mobile data traffic will increase 18X from 2011 -- 2016 (78% CAGR from 2011 -- 2016).  The 130 exabytes is 4.5 times more than all IP traffic (fixed and mobile) generated in 2005 (29 exabytes).
  • Based on Cisco VNI research, global mobile data traffic increased 133% from calendar year-end 2010 to calendar year-end 2011 (CY2011 = 597 petabytes per month or nearly 149 million DVDs per month).
  • In 2011, global mobile data traffic grew 3.4 times faster than global fixed broadband data traffic.  From 2011 to 2016, global mobile data traffic will grow 3 times faster than global fixed broadband data traffic.

Other pertinent points include:

  • In spite of uncertain economic conditions in many parts of the world, the demand for mobile services and content has in fact grown in every global region.
  • An increased amount of mobile traffic being offloaded to fixed networks, and the implementation of tiered mobile service pricing and data caps have not had a significant dampening effect on global mobile data traffic growth (the top 1% has been throttled to some degree).
  • In 2011, global mobile data traffic more than doubled (2.3X growth) for the fourth year in a row.

Following are links to relevant documents and information:

We welcome your questions . . . for greater detail, email traffic-inquiries@cisco.com.

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