The Mobile Network in 2010 and 2011 based on a Mobility Report and Forecast from Cisco

Global mobile data traffic grew 2.6-fold in 2010, nearly tripling for the third year in a row.The 2010 mobile data traffic growth rate was higher than anticipated. Last year’s forecast projected that the growth rate would be 149 percent. This year’s estimate is that global mobile data traffic grew 159 percent in 2010.

Last year’s mobile data traffic was three times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000.Global mobile data traffic in 2010 (237 petabytes per month) was over three times greater than the total global Internet traffic in2000 (75 petabytes per month).Mobile video traffic will exceed 50 percent for the first time in 2011.

Mobile video traffic was 49.8 percent of total mobile data traffic at the end of 2010, and will account for 52.8 percent of traffic by the end of 2011.

Mobile network connection speeds doubled in 2010. Globally, the average mobile network downstream speed in 2010 was 215 kilobits per second (kbps), up from 101 kbps in 2009. The average mobile network connection speed for smartphones in 2010 was 1040 kbps, up from 625 kbps in 2009.

The top 1 percent of mobile data subscribers generate over 20 percent of mobile data traffic, down from30 percent 1 year ago. According to a mobile data usage study conducted by Cisco, mobile data traffic has evened out over the last year and now matches the 1:20 ratio that has been true of fixed networks for several years. Similarly, the top 10 percent of mobile data subscribers now generate approximately 60 percent of mobile data traffic, down from 70 percent at the beginning of the year.

Average smartphone usage doubled in 2010. The average amount of traffic per smartphone in 2010 was79 MB per month, up from 35 MB per month in 2009.

Smartphones represent only 13 percent of total global handsets in use today, but they represent over 78 percent of total global handset traffic. In 2010, the typical smartphone generated 24 times more mobile data traffic (79 MB per month) than the typical basic-feature cell phone (which generated only 3.3 MB per month of mobile data traffic).

Globally, 31 percent of smartphone traffic was offloaded onto the fixed network through dual-mode or femtocell in 2010. Last year, 14.3 petabytes of smartphone and tablet traffic were offloaded onto the fixed network each month. Without offload, traffic originating from smartphones and tablets would have been 51 petabytes per month rather than 37 petabytes per month in 2010.

Android approaches iPhone levels of data use. At the beginning of the year, iPhone consumption was at least4 times higher than that of any other smartphone platform. Toward the end of the year, iPhone consumption was only 1.75 times higher than that of the second-highest platform, Android.

In 2010, 3 million tablets were connected to the mobile network, and each tablet generated 5 times more traffic than the average smartphone. In 2010, mobile data traffic per tablet was 405 MB per month, compared to79 MB per month per smartphone.

There were 94 million laptops on the mobile network in 2010, and each laptop generated 22 times more traffic than the average smartphone. Mobile data traffic per laptop was 1.7 GB per month, up 49 percent from 1.1GB per month in 2009.

Nonsmartphone usage increased 2.2-fold to 3.3 MB per month in 2010, compared to 1.5 MB per month in2009. Basic handsets still make up the vast majority of devices on the network (87 percent).

There are 48 million people in the world who have mobile phones, even though they do not have electricity at home. The mobile network has extended beyond the boundaries of the power grid.