Report: By 2015, Mobile Internet Usage Will Increase by Factor of 26

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Global mobile data use almost tripled between 2009 and 2010, according to a new report from Cisco, but that’s not the most surprising detail they’re offering: Apparently, they expect mobile data use to increase by a factor of 26 by 2015 – and much of that growth will come from users who don’t even have electricity at home.

Cisco’s report, the Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, notes that mobile data usage continued its trend of tripling annually last year – it’s done the same for the last three years, fittingly – in part due to an increased number of mobile devices in circulation (up 32%; unsurprisingly, iOS and Android devices led the growth), and also an increased amount of traffic per device. It also suggests that 40% of smartphone net use happens in the home, 25% at work, and the remaining 35% in transit, with video taking up an increasing amount of traffic. In fact, the report predicts that 52.8% of all mobile traffic will be video by the end of this year, with that number being closer to 66% by 2015.

The report also predicts that, by 2015, global mobile data traffic will have grown by a factor of 26, with mobile access more widely available than electricity in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South- and Southeast Asia, creating a population it calls “off-grid, on-net.” Cisco’s researchers expect this to be relatively short-lived, however; noting that “electricity access is likely to catch up to mobile access in the long term (perhaps even in response to the demand for mobile services).”

Clearly, for anyone attempting a political coup in 2015, the first thing to do is to take control of the cellphone towers. Everything after that will be easy.

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