Mobile traffic to approach almost 197,000 Petabytes by 2019
Majority of data will be offloaded to Wi-Fi networks, says Juniper
Juniper Research forecasts that mobile data traffic, generated by smartphones, featurephones and tablets, will approach almost 197,000 PB (Petabytes) by 2019, equivalent to over 10 billion Blu-ray movies.
However, the company found that only 41 percent of the data generated by these devices will be carried over cellular networks by 2019, with the majority of mobile data traffic offloaded to Wi-Fi networks.
The research, 'Mobile Data Offload & Onload: Wi-Fi, Small Cell & Network Strategies 2015-2019', estimates that the average monthly data usage by smartphone and tablet users will double over the next four years.
The daily media consumption by mobile users will continue to rise, bolstered by the rise in 4G adoption and factors such as HD video usage.
"Certainly, video is forming an ever-greater proportion of network traffic. For example, Juniper Research anticipates that video traffic over smartphones will increase by nearly 8 times between 2014 and 2019", said research author Nitin Bhas. Video currently accounts for around 60 percent of global IP traffic and, in some developed markets, this proportion is likely to exceed 70 percent in two to three years.
In 2014, data traffic generated by smartphones, featurephones and tablets in the Far East & China exceeded that of North America for the first time.
Demand for Wi-Fi
Additionally, the research observed that Wi-Fi has now become an integral part of operators' network strategy. Wi-Fi is not just being used for data offload, but also to maintain call connection quality in challenging network topologies. For example, EE UK launched its Wi-Fi calling feature on a selected number of handsets in April 2015.
Other key findings include: Onloaded M2M traffic will significantly increase over the forecast period, primarily driven by telematics and connected car infotainment systems; and North America and Western Europe will have the highest offload factor throughout the forecast period.
Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.