Mobile data to top equivalent of 10 billion Blu-rays by 2019
James R | On 24, May 2015
Mobile data traffic is set to soar in the coming four years, as people increasingly stream videos on portable devices. A study from Juniper Research predicts that mobile data traffic will hit almost 197,000 PB – that’s Petabytes, fact fans – by 2019. To put that into movie terms, that’s the equivalent to over 10 billion Blu-ray movies a year.
Mobile streaming has so far been mostly limited to short clips on platforms such as YouTube, with constrictions such as the availability of 3G connections holding back the consumption of longer content. But average monthly data usage by smartphone and tablet users is forecast to double over the next four years, bolstered by rising daily media consumption, increasing 4G adoption and the proliferation of HD video.
Juniper’s research, though, expects only 41 per cent of data generated by mobile devices in 2019 will be carried over cellular networks, with the majority of traffic offloaded to Wi-Fi networks.
“Video is forming an ever-greater proportion of network traffic,” explains report author Nitin Bhas. “Video traffic over smartphones will increase by nearly 8 times between 2014 and 2019.”
Video currently accounts for around 60 per cent of global IP traffic and, in some developed markets, this proportion is likely to exceed 70 per cent in 2-3 years. The Far East and China, in particular, will drive that increase in mobile video streaming – data traffic generated by smartphones and tablets in these areas surpassing that of North America for the first time in 2014.
As users gradually switch to mobile viewing, companies are inevitably expected to follow: according to a separate study, annual global advertising spend on mobile devices is predicted to reach $105 billion by 2019, up from an estimated $51 billion this year.
This increase in spend is mostly attributed to an attitude shift among brands and retailers, who now use mobile as a core channel for consumer engagement, thanks to its ability to deliver targeted and increasingly personalised advertising.