In its most recent Mobile Visual Networking Index (VNI) study, Cisco observes that mobile data traffic will increase extremely over the next four years. The number of mobile end users and mobile devices connected to the Internet is also continuing to grow.

In its annual survey of the state of global mobile data traffic, strategically presented in the run-up to the annual high mass of the mobile industry at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, Cisco notes that in the period between 2017 and 2022, mobile data traffic has grown very strongly and continues to grow.

Strong growth in global data traffic

By 2022, the annual global mobile data traffic will reach almost one zettabyte per year, i.e. approximately 930 exabytes per year. Compared to ten years earlier, in 2012, this is no less than 113 times as much. By 2022, mobile data traffic will account for 20 percent of total global data traffic.

One of the main reasons for the increase in mobile data traffic is that consumers and business users are getting easier and easier access to mobile networks. In 2017 there were two billion mobile users worldwide, by 2022 this will have increased to 5.5 billion. Compared to the total world population, 71 percent have access to mobile networks.

Increased devices and IoT connections

In addition, the number of mobile devices has also increased considerably. In 2017, a total of nine billion mobile devices and IoT connections were still connected to mobile networks, and by 2022 this will have increased to 12 billion devices and connections.

More precisely, by 2022, mobile networks will support a total of eight billion mobile devices and four billion IoT connections, according to Cisco.

More investment in networks

The researchers also conclude that mobile operators are increasingly investing in their networks. Especially to improve the performance of their networks. As a result of this development, the report goes on to say that the speeds of the networks worldwide are also going to increase. In the period under review between 2017 and 2022, the average mobile speed will triple, from an average of 8.6 Mbps in 2017 to 28.5 Mbps in 2022.

The Cisco researchers do, however, note that this improvement may still differ from one region to another. This is because some regions of the world are faster with the deployment of 5G networks to bring more speed. These regions are then ahead of the others.

Developments around 5G

The researchers expect that by 2022 5G will account for about 3 percent of the total number of global mobile connections. About 422 million devices and M2M connections will then be connected via this latest mobile technology. The experts expect about 12 percent of the mobile data traffic to pass through 5G.

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