Mobile phones to become data-hungry beasts by the end of 2019

3 Feb 2015

The rate at which people download data through their mobile networks is expected to increase exponentially from 2.5EB (exabytes) per month in 2014, to nearly 25EB per month in just four years.

The findings are part of Cisco’s Mobile Visual Networking Index, which charts the world’s mobile internet traffic and appears to show that many of us are not holding back when it comes to using our phones for streaming, downloading and browsing, among other activities.

The growth expected to level out at 24.3EB in 2019 is no doubt down to the eventual mass rollout of 4G networks in countries – including Ireland – that are still in the relatively early stages of the faster mobile network becoming more mainstream.

However, according to the report, countries in developing nations are expected to lead a significant push, despite 4G being nothing more than a pipe dream at their national stages of network infrastructure.

For example, the average mobile user in the Middle East and Africa uses about 353MB per month on their mobile plan in 2014, but by 2019, this is expected to jump to as much as 3,746MB.

And yet, unsurprisingly, the people of North America are still the hungriest for data, with 1,893MB attributed as the average monthly amount used per person in 2014, which is then expected to increase to 11,029MB per month in four years’ time.

What speeds are we getting for different networks?

Cisco’s report has even shown the average speed worldwide among the different generation networks.

Unsurprisingly, 4G is the dominant network, achieving an average download speed of 10Mbps, which is expected to rise to 14.2Mbps in 2019.

Meanwhile, 3G networks are expected to grow from just over 2Mbps in 2014, to 5Mbps in 2019.

Mobile internet image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic