Wireless momentum continues worldwide and mobile data traffic expected to increase nearly 11-fold

Today, Cisco released its latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Forecast, 2013-2018, projecting future mobile data traffic over cellular networks (2G, 3G, or 4G) and wi-fi off-load traffic. Our detailed research, including region-specific and some country-specific data, can be found in our complete white paper. Highlighted below for your convenience are some of the key takeaways.


Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast InfographicBy 2018, global mobile data traffic will reach 15.9 exabytes per month or 190 exabytes annually, increasing nearly 11-fold from 2013 – 2018. 190 exabytes is equivalent to four trillion video clips or 42 trillion images! Below are some of the key growth drivers, major milestones and interesting transitions revealed in this year’s report. View the full size of the infographic (pictured right).

Global Mobile Data Traffic Drivers

  • More mobile users: By 2018, there will be 4.9 billion mobile users (up from 4.1 billion in 2013).
  • In 2013, nearly 58% of the world’s population (7.2 billion people) were mobile users.
  • By 2018, more than 64% of the world’s population (7.6 billion people) will be mobile users.
  • More mobile connections: By 2018, there will be more than 10 billion mobile-ready devices/connections-including 8 billion personal mobile devices and 2 billion M2M connections (up from 7 billion total mobile-ready devices and M2M connections in 2013).
  • Faster mobile speeds: Average global mobile network speeds will nearly double from 2013 (1.4 Mbps) to 2018 (2.5 Mbps).
  • More mobile video: By 2018, mobile video will represent 69% of global mobile traffic (up from 53% in 2013).

Major Mobile Milestones

  • By 2018, nearly half (48%) of all mobile-connected devices/connections (4.9 billion) will be IPv6-capable, up from 18% in 2013.
  • By 2018, 4G will support 15% of all mobile devices/connections, up from 2.9% in 2013.
  • By 2018, there will be half a billion mobile-connected tablets.
  • By 2018, more data will be offloaded via wi-fi from mobile networks than will remain on mobile networks.

Transitioning to Smarter and Faster Mobile Devices and Connections

  • By 2015, M2M traffic will surpass feature phone traffic.
  • By 2015, the number of mobile-connected tablets will surpass mobile laptops.
  • By 2015, smartphones will have cellular speeds as fast as today’s fixed broadband.
  • Tablet traffic will surpass mobile laptop traffic by 2016.

To see the complete mobile report and the online tools that we’ve created to enable you to see global, regional and some country-level forecast projections, go to the official Cisco VNI webpage. You can also check out the press release here. Follow #VNI on Twitter for live updates on the forecast.

We hope this annual data continues to drive your business and mobile decisions.


Thomas Barnett, Jr.

Director, SP Thought Leadership

Worldwide Service Provider Marketing Group