Wi-Fi offload set to dominate traffic by 2019, claims Cisco

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Wi-Fi offload will overtake cellular data by 2019, a new report has claimed, as operators look to manage traffic more efficiently through small cells.

Cisco's annual Visual Networking Index said without offloading technology, global mobile data traffic would have a compound annual growth rate of 65 percent, compared to the predicted 57 percent.

Europe will see its mobile data traffic increase by more than sevenfold between 2014 and 2019, as part of a wider global growth of almost 10 times.

The vendor revealed there will be an extra billion mobile users by 2019, with 69 percent  of the world's population (5.2 billion people) owning a mobile.

There will be 11.5 billion connected devices by the same date, including 8.3 billion personal and 3.2 billion M2M connections, up from the 7.4 billion total mobile connections at the end of last year.

More than a quarter (26 perecent) of all devices and connections will be 4G ready, with total LTE connections leaping 18-fold to 3 billion by 2019. Cisco predicted 68 percent of all mobile data traffic will be on LTE networks within five years. LTE networks will continue the upsurge in video consumption, with it accounting for 72 percent of all global data traffic within five years, compared to 55 percent in 2014.

In 2017, 3G connections will overtake 2G. Average network speeds will increase from 1.7MBps last year to 4.0MBps by 2019. 

The report also predicted Voice-over-Wi-Fi would overtake VoLTE, as vendors finally tackle issues surrounding adoption and user experience. By 2019, VoWi-Fi will account for 53 percent of all mobile IP voice traffic.

Despite a slow start, there will be half a billion wearables sold by 2019, up from 109 million last year, with the market concentrated in North America and Asia Pacific. As a consequence, traffic will increase 18-fold.

The report found a typical wearable generated six times as much traffic than a basic handset in 2014, 141MB per month, compared to 22MB. M2M modules generated 70MB per month, three times that of a basic handset.

Doug Webster, Vice President of Products and Solutions Marketing, Cisco, said: “The ongoing adoption of more powerful mobile devices and wider deployments of emerging M2M applications, combined with broader access to faster wireless networks, will be key contributors to significant mobile traffic growth in the coming years.

"This mobile-centric environment will give service providers a new landscape of challenges and opportunities to innovatively deliver a variety of mobile services and experiences to consumers and business users as the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to take shape.”

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