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Mobile Data Traffic from PCs to Increase 400 Percent

Mobile data traffic from PC modems and routers is forecast to increase fourfold between 2010 and 2014. You know what this means – mobile video will increase.

A new Research Brief from ABI Research, “Data Traffic Trends for Mobile Broadband Modems and WWAN / WiFi Routers,” finds that this year “some 2,000 petabytes of data will be sent and received, a figure that will rise to about 8,000 petabytes in 2014.”

“Today, and for most of our forecast period, modems and routers in Western Europe will generate the highest levels of mobile data traffic, but by an ever-decreasing margin,” said Jeff Orr, senior analyst, mobile devices, ABI. “In 2014, we expect the Asia-Pacific region to overtake Western Europe as the largest source of demand for this traffic.”

Yes, the largest contribution to this demand still comes from USB modems, of course, with general web and Internet access the leading application by a wide margin. That’s followed by video streaming and TV viewing, with audio streaming a distant follower.

The study found that peer-to-peer and VoIP applications contribute relatively little to the overall usage mix due to operator service restrictions and/or monthly data usage caps.

Orr remarked that, contrary to what some may think, “It’s not smartphones, nor computers with embedded radios” driving the usage. “Versatile, aftermarket modem products are really driving mobile data traffic on the world’s networks.”

Earlier this year TMCnet contributing editor Carolyn J. Dawson reported that Cisco released the results of its Visual Networking Index, or “VNI,” Global Mobile Data Forecast for 2009-2014, projecting that the annual global mobile data traffic will reach an annual run rate of 40 exabytes by 2014, which points to a compound annual growth rate of 108 percent.

“The global trends that are driving this increase are the proliferation of mobile-ready devices and improved mobile video content consumption,” the Cisco study found, adding that it is expected that by 2014, mobile video will represent 66 percent of all mobile data traffic by 2014, increasing 66-fold from 2009 to 2014.

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