Mobile Internet Bandwith+IDCInternet-generated broadband traffic will increase approximately 50% year-over-year on fixed networks and double on mobile networks, driven in large part by “power users” that are using a disproportionate amount of bandwidth, according to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC).

“The enormous growth in end user demand for both fixed and mobile broadband services is staggering,” said Matt Davis, IDC director of Consumer and SMB Telecom Services, in an announcement of the research findings. “Fixed and mobile operators will have to deal with a new reality that will tax network resources to the limit—and perhaps past the limit.”

IDC forecasts worldwide end-user demand for wireline and mobile broadband traffic of 116,539 petabytes per month in 2015—up from 9,665 petabytes per month in 2010.

“Bandwidth usage strongly correlates with the availability of faster broadband speeds,” wrote IDC in the announcement. “The relationship between availability and usage is important when considering the question of how much bandwidth is enough.”

Other findings of the new research, titled “Worldwide Internet Broadband Bandwidth Demand 2012-2015,” include:

  • HD video content will drive a new level of bandwidth demand, with more than 50% of video and audio streaming destined for a connected TV, an iPad or another mobile device or tablet
  • In North America, downstream traffic typically exceeds upstream traffic by a factor of 10 or more
  • Web browsing represents a declining share of traffic across the globe, especially in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific region. Accordingly IDC advises service providers to deliver more bandwidth in order to spur usage of new services and drive new subscriptions and revenue.