There has been a worldwide rise in mobile access for consumers and business users. The expanded reach and quality of mobile broadband has fostered a seemingly insatiable demand for mobile communications, media and an extensive range of mobile IoT applications. Just two years ago, there were five billion mobile users worldwide. Now, we’re expected to see that number to increase by half a billion to 5.5 billion users over the next five years, according to a new report from networking technology provider Cisco. This roughly translates to about 71 percent of the global population.
By 2022, there will be more than 12 billion mobile-ready devices and Internet of Things (IoT) connections, up from about nine billion mobile-ready devices and IoT connections in 2017. And by that same year, mobile traffic will represent nearly 20 percent of global IP traffic. That’s nearly 113 times more than all the global mobile traffic generated in just the past to years, the report points out.
The study, which relies on independent analyst forecasts and real-world network usage data, examines ongoing efforts by mobile carriers around the world to enhance network performance. Data indicates the average global mobile network speeds will increase more than three-fold from 8.7 Mbps in 2017 to 28.5 Mbps by 2022. Average mobile speeds vary significantly by geographic locations as 5G adoption begins to ramp up in some regions.
Additionally, over the next few years 5G connections will represent more than three percent of total mobile connections (more than 422 million global 5G devices) and will account for nearly 12 percent of global mobile data traffic. The average 5G connection will generate about three times more traffic than the average 4G connection, Cisco said.
“As global mobile traffic approaches the zettabyte era, we believe that 5G and WiFi will coexist as necessary and complementary access technologies, offering key benefits to our enterprise and service provider customers to extend their architectures,” said Jonathan Davidson, Cisco senior vice president and general manager, service provider business, in a prepared statement.