Mobile Devices to Outnumber Humans this Year, says a Cisco Study

February 15, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Population explosion is a matter of concern in many countries. That is the human case. What about gadgets? A recent study conducted by Cisco reveals that mobile devices will outnumber human beings this year.

The study predicts that, by 2016, there will be more than 10 billion mobile devices in the world while the human population will be just 7.29 billion.

If that is the case with the number, what could be the massive amounts of data used by these devices? The study claims that there will be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 78 per cent in mobile data during the next five years. That means mobile networks world over will carry 10 Exabyte of data per month.


The study also shows peculiar trends in data use among users of different devices. Currently, laptop users are the top mobile data consumers. The case will be the same till 2014, when smartphones will overtake laptops as they are getting more and more popular and efficient.

If we compare different devices and the traffic generated, laptops users generate 498 times more traffic than a standard feature phone user. Tablets users generate 120 times and smartphone users generate 35 times more data traffic than users of phones with standard features.

The speeds also will go up. The study shows that the average bit rate last year was 189Kbps. It will shoot up to 3 Mbps speed in 2016.

The fourth generation networks will be offering just 6 percent of the total connections worldwide in 2016, but this six percent will be generating 36 percent of the total data traffic globally in 2016.

Well, video constitutes a major share of this mobile data usage. As the total mobile data usage will grow more than 25 times during 2011 to 2016, a two-third of the total mobile data usage will be spent on watching videos.

Interestingly, Asia, despite being the population hub, is not the biggest growing mobile data user geographically. The credit goes to Africa and Middle East with a 97 percent CAGR in mobile data use.

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