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Mobile data traffic: a spectacular growth

21 May 2013

By Bruno Crispin
Marketing Director, Business Mobility

1 GB a day. EVERYDAY?

In the fall of 2011, while the wireless data transmission market was in full swing –and this, about a year after Videotron launched its mobile network, I was reading an article on global mobile data usage trends. The article was titled: “1 GB per day by 2020.”

This kind of usage volume seemed a bit kooky, actually, even as I had been a witness to the accelerated development of mobile data ever since my humble beginnings in the world of wireless in 2000 (at this time, texting was still in its infancy). It’s been three years since this article I always kept in the back of my mind, so I was curious to see where we are now with mobile data usage…?

The current growth is incredible

Cisco, the American giant, just released a widely anticipated whitepaper, providing a snapshot of mobile-generated global traffic, and highlight trends until 2018.

In 2013, worldwide traffic grew 81% compared to 2012. As Cisco pointed out, mobile traffic just from last year was 18 times greater than the whole Internet was in 2000. What’s behind this spectacular growth: more than half (53%) consisted of video content.

Around the world at the end of 2013, 21% of mobile devices were smartphones. These are however responsible for 88% of all traffic.

Worth noting: even though 4G connections only make up 3% of the whole portrait, they generate 30% of worldwide traffic.

Now tablets: the prevalence of this type of device more than doubled last year, reaching 96 million worldwide. On average, an electronic tablet generates 2.6 times more traffic than a smartphone.

More and more, mobile traffic does not simply equals smartphones and tablets! According to the report, there were 22 million “wearable devices” connected to wireless networks (machine-to-machine connectivity, watches, workout sensors, medical devices, Google Glass, etc.)

5-year forecast

In 2014, the number of mobile devices will exceed the overall world population.

Mobile traffic should increase 11-fold by 2018; connection speeds will rather double.

Smartphones are expected to generate five times more traffic than now in 2018.

15% of connections should be 4G, with 51% of all mobile traffic worldwide.

Video content will continue to grow, and is expected to reach 69% of all traffic in the next five years.

Tablet prevalence should also grow tremendously: in 2018, their traffic should double when compared to now.

In Canada, where 65% of mobile device are smartphones, the growth is no less spectacular. Operators such as Videotron need to constantly find ways to stay ahead of this growth, while continuing to improve their network and quality of service.

Always at the forefront of innovation, Videotron Business Solutions launches a brand new plan for Quebec-based companies. The Unlimited Quebec Business 30 GB offers peace of mind and a very generous data allocation. The equivalent of 1 GB a day, everyday! Moreover, local calls, long distance calls and text, photo and video messaging are unlimited from Quebec.

Offered for a limited time only, this promotional plan enables mobile users to maximize the use of their smartphone, without ever worrying about exceeding data usage.

Who knows where will be in 2020? Happy mobile browsing!



About the author(s)

Marketing Director, Business Mobility