Cisco Systems Inc. has been saying for years that mobile video data traffic is exploding, and the networking company now predicts that video content will account for 66% of all mobile data traffic by 2014.
Cisco's prediction is based on a summary of independent analysts' forecasts and real-world data usage studies, which project that there will be more than 5 billion personal devices running on mobile networks in four years. That figure includes many devices, like the Apple iPad, that are just now emerging — devices that are expected to handle a good deal of video data. Cisco said that smartphones and laptop air cards will drive 90% of the global mobile traffic by 2014.
The Cisco forecast says that the amount of mobile video alone will have grown by a factor of 66 between 2009 and 2014.
The total volume of mobile data traffic will amount to 3.6 exabytes per month in 2014, having grown at a rate of 108% per year between 2009 and 2014, according to the forecast.
The company said the average mobile broadband connection today generates 1.3GB a month, the equivalent of about 650 MP3 music files. By 2014, according to the forecast, the average mobile connection will generate 7GB per month, equal to about 3,500 MP3 music files.