Tablets ramping up mobile connections, data traffic, Cisco says
Mobile devices like tablet computers and smartphones are pushing data consumption to new heights, and according to a study from technology giant Cisco, the devices will lead to an 18-fold increase in mobile traffic between 2011 and 2016.
In total, Cisco predicts mobile traffic levels will reach 10.8 exabytes per month by the end of the forecast period, or 130 exabytes per year. Traffic generated by tablet computers alone will grow 62-fold between 2011 and 2016 -- more than that of any other device.
Aside from tablet growth, a number of other factors are contributing to the surge in data traffic. Cisco notes that consumer expectations for streamed content, including music and video, will increase in the coming years, as will the number of mobile devices with internet connections. In fact, according to Cisco, the number of mobile internet connections will reach 10 billion by 2016.
Market analysis firm comScore also points to the influence of mobile devices on technology trends in its US Digital Future Focus report. According to comScore, tablets and smartphones will shape content consumption habits for the foreseeable future, and will account for 8 percent of all digital traffic by the end of 2012.