Mobile data volumes outstrip voice

Data traffic on mobile networks has grown 280% a year for the past two years, and outstripped voice or the first time in December 2009.

The crossover occurred at approximately 140Pbyte (140,000Tbyte) of data per month in both voice and data traffic.

The finding is based on measurements from live networks worldwide, which also showed that  traffic on 3G networks has now surpassed that on 2G networks.

Ericsson is  forecasting that mobile data volumes will double annually for the next five years.

“This is a significant milestone, with some 400 million mobile broadband subscriptions now generating more data traffic than the voice traffic from the 4.6 billion mobile  subscriptions around the world,” said Hans Vestberg, Ericsson president and CEO.

Ericsson says that traffic to social networking sites accounts for a large percentage of mobile data traffic. For example, over 200 mobile operators in 60 countries are deploying and promoting Facebook mobile products, with more than 100 million active users accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.

A recent Ericsson consumer insights study of 4580 subscribers in six mature markets showed that 80% of mobile broadband users expect anytime, anywhere access. It also found  that as mobile data traffic increases, the mobile broadband connection is becoming as personal as a  mobile phone, with 0% of respondents saying that they would not share their laptop with anyone and 65% declining to share their mobile broadband connection.

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