Smartphones, IoT devices and wearables devices are driving extraordinary wireless data growth and wearable technology is set to expand to a half billion wearable devices by 2019. Cisco’s Visual Network Index notes that global mobile traffic will soar to 25 exabytes by 2019. An Exabyte is 1 billion gigabytes, this new mobile data flows over networks using smart connections, which include phones, tablets, laptops and M2M connections such as automotive infotainment systems. Cisco Systems predicts that these wearable portable devices and new mobile data platforms will create more than 569MB of data monthly by 2019, which is up from 119MB last year.
With such high levels of growth, the demand and need for better operating mobile data isn’t going away anytime soon and it set to continually expand. Estimates show that continued smartphone adoption, as well as strong growth in connected wearables plus Internet of Things devices, will be the leading causes of the growth.
Because of these expanding technologies, there will be an 18-fold growth in mobile data from wearable devices during 2014 to 2019, Cisco believes mobile per-user data consumption will continue to increase from the current average of 2GB per month to nearly 11GB by 2019. This is due to users having more devices connected to a wireless network below their name. At the end of 2014, 88% of global mobile traffic came from smart connections, and by 2019 will account for 97%. Smartphones, IoT devices and tablets won’t be the only devices driving this extraordinary wireless data growth.
Cisco forecasts the number of wearable devices such as portable devices which notifies users of calls and messages or wearable smartphones that can be worn on the wrist will have risen to 578 million by 2019. While wearable devices will have risen, newer 4G networks will account for 88.2 percent of total mobile data traffic in 2019 versus the 42.2 percent at the end of 2014.
Consumers will also be changing the way they use their wearable devices due to bigger phones with faster 4G connection speeds. This will make portable mobile devices perfect multimedia consumption devices where 72% of mobile data will be in mobile video. Mobile data growth figures have yet to take into account Wi-Fi usage which, in the United States alone, takes up 66 percent of wireless network traffic.
Estimates show there will also be a billion more wireless device users by 2019, which is almost a one billion increase since 2014. In addition, in 2014 nearly 59 percent of the world’s population used mobile devices. However, by 2019 more than 69 percent of the world’s population with use smartphones, IoT devices or newer forms of wearable technology. It’s for these reasons that wireless carriers were willing to provide nearly $45 billion towards the FCC’s recent spectrum auction. If growth estimates continue, the next FCC spectrum auction in 2016, could command an even higher price. This unparalleled growth will provide mobile wearable device users with new innovations which are sure to stay on the cutting edge of technology for many years to come.
By Tara Newlands
Photo by Karlis Dambrans – Flicker License