Mobile data to hit 197K PB by 2019, mainly offloaded to Wi-Fi

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The volume of data traffic generated by smartphones, tablets and feature phones will hit nearly 197,000 petabytes (PB) - approximately 197 billion gigabytes - by the end of the decade, according to new forecasts.

The findings from Juniper Research also showed that the average monthly data usage of smartphone and tablet users will double over the next four years, a result of increased 4G uptake and the growth of HD video services.

Research author Nitin Bhas said: “Video is forming an ever-greater proportion of network traffic. Juniper Research anticipates that video traffic over smartphones will increase by nearly 8 times between 2014 and 2019,

“Video currently accounts for around 60 percent of global IP traffic and, in some developed markets, this proportion is likely to exceed 70 percent in two to three years.

The research company said that less than half of mobile data traffic will be carried over cellular networks by the end of the decade. Instead, the majority will be offloaded on to Wi-Fi networks.

Juniper said mobile operators are increasingly looking to Wi-Fi both for traffic offload and for launching Wi-Fi calling services.

[Read more: EE goes live with Wi-Fi calling service] 

North America and Western Europe will have the highest offload factor throughout the forecast period, Juniper concluded.

Meanwhile, the company said that M2M traffic will also increase “significantly” over the forecast period, driven by the growth of telematics and infotainment systems in connected cars.

A separate report from Juniper this week forecast the number of customers with subscriptions to over-the-top TV services to increase by over 260 percent by 2019.

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