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The Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update is part of the comprehensive Cisco VNI Forecast, an ongoing initiative to track and forecast the impact of visual networking applications on global networks. This paper presents some of Cisco's major global mobile data traffic projections and growth trends.
Executive Summary
The Mobile Network in 2011 and 2012
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.
Last year's mobile data traffic was eight times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000. Global mobile data traffic in 2011 (597 petabytes per month) was over eight times greater than the total global Internet traffic in 2000 (75 petabytes per month).
Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent for the first time in 2011. Mobile video traffic was 52 percent of traffic by the end of 2011.
Mobile network connection speeds grew 66 percent in 2011. Globally, the average mobile network downstream speed in 2011 was 315 kilobits per second (kbps), up from 189 kbps in 2010. The average mobile network connection speed for smartphones in 2011 was 1344 kbps, up from 968 kbps in 2010.
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.
The top 1 percent of mobile data subscribers generate 24 percent of mobile data traffic, down from 35 percent 1 year ago. According to a mobile data usage study conducted by Cisco, mobile data traffic has evened out over the last…...

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