Cisco has projected that worldwide mobile data traffic will increase nearly 11-fold over the next four years and reach an annual run rate of 190 exabytes by 2018.
According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2013 to 2018, the projected increase in mobile traffic is partly due to continued strong growth in the number of mobile Internet connection, such as personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, which will exceed 10 billion by 2018 and be 1.4 times greater than the world’s population (the United Nations estimates 7.6 billion people by 2018).
M2M refers to applications that enable wireless and wired systems to communicate with similar devices to support global positioning satellite (GPS) navigation systems, asset tracking, utility meters, security and surveillance video, according to Cisco.
The Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast’s annual run rate of 190 exabytes of mobile data traffic for 2018 is equivalent to 190 times more than all Internet Protocol (IP) traffic, fixed and mobile, generated in 2000 or 42 trillion images (e.g., multimedia message service or Instagram), 15 daily images per person on earth for a year or 4 trillion video clips (e.g., YouTube), more than one daily video clip per person on earth for a year.
An exabyte is a unit of information or computer storage equal to one quintillion bytes or one billion gigabytes.