According to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index, worldwide mobile data traffic will increase 18-fold over the next five years, reaching 10.8 exabytes per month, an annual run rate of 130 exabytes, by 2016. The monthly 130 exabytes is equivalent to consumption of 33 billion DVDs; 4.3 quadrillion MP3 files (music/audio) or 813 quadrillion short message service (SMS) text messages.

The number of mobile Internet connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth (2016 world population estimate of 7.3 billion; source: United Nations) in 2016. Cisco also anticipates that global mobile data traffic will outgrow global fixed data traffic by three times in the 2011 to 2016 period.

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This mobile data traffic increase represents a compound annual growth rate of 78 percent. Mobile cloud traffic will grow 28-fold from 2011 to 2016, a CAGR of 95 percent.

Cisco also forecasts that there will be More Mobile Connections: There will more than 10 billion mobile Internet-connected devices in 2016, including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules, exceeding the world’s projected population at that time of 7.3 billion.

Tablet traffic levels will grow 62-fold from 2011 to 2016, the highest growth rate of any device category tracked in the forecast, generating about an exabyte a month of traffic.

Mobile video, which will comprise 71 percent of all mobile data traffic by 2016.

By 2016, there will be more than eight billion handheld or personal mobile-ready devices and nearly two billion machine-to-machine connections, such as GPS systems in cars, asset tracking systems in shipping and manufacturing sectors and medical applications for making patient records more readily available.

In 2011, 11 percent, or 72 petabytes, per month of total mobile data traffic was offloaded from mobile networks to Wi-Fi networks.. By 2016, 22 percent, or 3.1 exabytes, per month of total mobile data traffic will be offloaded.

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