Data usage set to double over the next four years

Data traffic generated by smartphones will approach the equivalent to over 10 billion Blu-ray movies, new research has revealed.

The research found that only 41 per cent of the data generated by these devices will be carried over cellular networks by 2019, with most of mobile data traffic offloaded to Wi-Fi networks.

It's forecasted that mobile data will approach almost 197,000 Petabytes, with the average monthly data usage by smartphone and tablet users to double over the next four years.

It is also expected for the daily media consumption by mobile users to continue to rise, bolstered by the increase in 4G adoption and HD video usage.

“Certainly, video is forming an ever-greater proportion of network traffic,” said Nitin Bhas, author of the Mobile Data Offload and Onload study.

“Video traffic over smartphones will increase by nearly 8 times between 2014 and 2019.”

Video currently accounts for around 60 per cent of global IP traffic and, in some developed markets, this proportion is likely to exceed 70 per cent in 2-3 years, according to the research.

In 2014 data traffic generated by smartphones, feature phones and tablets in the Far East and China exceeded that of North America for the first time.

The research highlighted that Wi-Fi has now become an integral part of operators’ network strategy, not just being used for data offload, but also to maintain call connection quality in challenging network topologies.

Last month EE UK launched its Wi-Fi calling feature on a selected number of handsets and other telecoms giants are expected to follow suit.

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