News Release

Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast Predicts Continued Mobile Data Traffic Surge

More Mobile-Ready Devices and Mobile Video to Fuel 39-Fold Global Growth from 2009-2014
Feb 09, 2010

San Jose, Calif., Feb. 9, 2010 – Cisco today announced the results of the Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Forecast for 2009-2014.

The research projects that annual global mobile data traffic will reach 3.6 exabytes per month or an annual run rate of 40 exabytes by 2014.  Such a figure equates to a 39-fold increase from 2009 to 2014, or a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 108 percent. 

Two major global trends are driving this increase-the proliferation of mobile-ready devices and widespread mobile video content consumption. By 2014, there could be over 5 billion personal devices connecting to mobile networks – and billions more machine-to-machine nodes. Mobile video is projected by the study to represent 66 percent of all mobile data traffic by 2014, increasing 66-fold from 2009 to 2014-the highest growth rate of any mobile data application tracked in the Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Forecast.


  • Global mobile data traffic has increased by 160 percent over the past year to 90 petabytes per month, or the equivalent of 23 million DVDs.
  • Global mobile data traffic today is growing today 2.4 times faster than global fixed broadband data traffic.
  • Smart phones and laptop air cards are expected to drive more than 90 percent of global mobile traffic by 2014.
  • By 2014, more than 400 million of the world's Internet users could access the network solely through a mobile connection.
  • Today, the average mobile broadband connection generates 1.3 gigabytes of traffic per month-which is equivalent to about 650 MP3 music files. By 2014, the average mobile broadband connection is projected to generate 7 gigabytes of traffic per month-which is equivalent to about 3,500 MP3 music files.
  • The Middle East and Africa is expected to have the highest regional mobile data traffic growth rate, with a CAGR of 133 percent over the forecast period.  Asia-Pacific is projected to have a 119 percent CAGR, followed by North America with a 117 percent CAGR.  India is expected to the highest country mobile data traffic growth rate of any country, with a CAGR of 222 percent for the forecast period, followed by China with a 172 percent CAGR and South Africa with a 156 percent CAGR.  In many countries, mobile operators are already offering mobile broadband services at prices and speeds comparable to fixed broadband which is accounting for high growth rates.

The Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Forecast methodology relies upon various independent analyst forecasts as well as real-world mobile data usage studies. The study's methodology can be reviewed at the link below.

Supporting Quotes:

  • "Mobile data traffic is growing faster than expected five years ago," said Doug Webster, senior director, service provider marketing, Cisco. "The rapid consumer adoption of smart phones, netbooks, e-readers and Web-ready video cameras as well as machine-to-machine applications like eHealth monitoring and asset-tracking systems, is continuing to place unprecedented demands on mobile networks.  In spite of the economic downturn, the demand for mobile services has remained high, posing both challenges and opportunities for service providers worldwide," Webster said.

Updates to the Cisco Global Internet Speed Test:

  • Cisco has updated its free Global Internet Speed Test (GIST) application, which currently has more than 200,000 users worldwide and supports iPhone, iPod touch and BlackBerry Storm devices to measure connection speeds over Wi-Fi, 3G or EDGE networks.
  • Cisco GIST users can run speed tests quickly (15 seconds or less) and view their last 10 results in easy-to-read graphs (with comparisons to all global users). The enhanced application also integrates a map function to show where tests have been run. Users can also name their favorite test locations, apply photos to test results, and share test results with others via Twitter.



Cisco, Visual Networking Index, VNI, Mobile Data, Mobile Video, Mobile VNI

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