Social media to push data use up tenfold


Users to consume eight times more social media in five years, pushing data up ten times

Lippy mobile phone users will on average consume 6.5 times as much video, over eight times as much music and social media, and nearly 10 times as much games in 2016 as in 2011, according to the latest forecasts.

There will be a big upsurge in traffic for most mobile data services over the next five years, largely driven by the spread of smartphones and a 23% increase in the number of mobile users, the research from Informa Telecoms & Media stated.

In 2016, the average mobile user will be browsing six times as many web pages and downloading 14 times as many megabytes of applications on their handset as in 2011.Text  and picture messaging traffic will continue to grow, but at a much slower pace than most other mobile data services. On average, mobile users sent 118 SMS's and two MMS's a month in 2011, compared to the 146 SMS's and four MMS's they will be sending in 2016.

Usage of internet-derived messaging services, namely instant messaging and email, will see higher growth. For example, compared to the global monthly average of 31 mobile instant messages sent in 2011, users will be sending 118 in 2016.  The services that put the greatest strain on mobile networks won't necessarily be the ones that bring the most revenue.

'The top three data guzzlers on mobile phones over the next five years will be applications, video streaming and web browsing, in that order of importance,' said Guillermo Escofet, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. 'Yet, the top revenue earners in 2016 will be web browsing first, followed by P2P SMS and applications. Video streaming will represent less than 1% of mobile data revenue in 2016, despite hogging a third of handset traffic.'

The growth in traffic will far outstrip the growth in revenues. Global mobile data traffic will grow from 3.89 trillion megabytes in 2011 to 39.75 trillion megabytes in 2016, amounting to a tenfold increase. By contrast, global mobile data revenues will grow from US$325.8 billion in 2011 to US$627.5 billion in 2016, amounting to a twofold increase.


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