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Mobile web devices to surpass world population by 2017

06 Feb 2013

The number of mobile-connected devices in use is expected to exceed the world's population by the end of 2017, according to a new report by Cisco.

Cisco's Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update reports that there will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices in the world by 2017.

Smartphones are expected to make up 50 percent of mobile data traffic by the end of this year.

"The increasing number of wireless devices that are accessing mobile networks worldwide is one of the primary contributors to traffic growth," Cisco wrote in its report.

"Each year several new devices in different form factors and increased capabilities and intelligence are being introduced in the market. By 2017, there will be 8.6 billion handheld or personal mobile ready devices and 1.7 billion machine-to-machine connections."

Cisco reports that the US and Western Europe will have the fastest growing mobile device markets from now until 2017. In the US, mobile devices will grow on average 13 percent each year. In Western Europe the growth rate is expected to by around 10 percent.

Smartphones, laptops, and tablets are expected to make up for most of mobile data traffic between now and 2017.

Cisco predicted smartphones will be responsible for over 67 percent of mobile data traffic. Tablets are expected to garner 11 percent of mobile data traffic, while laptops will represent 14 percent of the field.

"The proliferation of high-end handsets, tablets, and laptops on mobile networks is a major generator of traffic, because these devices offer the consumer content and applications not supported by previous generations of mobile devices," continued Cisco in the report.

The report is backed up by a recent study into mobile phones by research firm IDC. According to the firm, 1.7 billion mobile phones were shipped last year.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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