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Number of Mobile Connected Devices to Exceed Human Population in 2012

Cisco released a comprehensive report on global mobile data and traffic this morning. There’s lots of useful/interesting data here, but I found the following snippet to be particularly impactful:

By the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2016 there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita. There will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices in 2016, including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules-exceeding the world’s population at that time (7.3 billion).

Potential for a Terminator-esque machine takeover aside, that’s pretty cool. Here’s a few additional highlights.

In 2011, a fourth-generation (4G) connection generated 28 times more traffic on average than a non-4G connection. Although 4G connections represent only 0.2 percent of mobile connections today, they already account for 6 percent of mobile data traffic.

Global mobile data traffic grew 2.3-fold in 2011, more than doubling for the fourth year in a row. The 2011 mobile data traffic growth rate was higher than anticipated. Last year’s forecast projected that the growth rate would be 131 percent. This year’s estimate is that global mobile data traffic grew 133 percent in 2011.

Two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2016. Mobile video will increase 25-fold between 2011 and 2016, accounting for over 70 percent of total mobile data traffic by the end of the forecast period.

Average smartphone usage nearly tripled in 2011. The average amount of traffic per smartphone in 2011 was 150 MB per month, up from 55 MB per month in 2010.

Read the full report from Cisco.

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