Cisco expects mobile internet traffic to hit 130 exabytes by 2016 as the number of mobile devices accesing the internet on the move continues to rocket.
This growth in traffic, the key finding from the firm's annual Visual Network Index report, will be the equivalent of an 18-fold increase in data use from 2011, and is equivalent to 33 billion DVDs, Cisco claimed.
It said much of this growth will come from cloud computing streaming services that allow users to access data on-the-go, while the rise of machine-to-machine connections will also help generate these huge data volumes, with the firm expecting some 7.3 billion devices to be online by 2016.
The capacity to handle this huge growth in traffic will be met, in part, by, the ongoing roll outs of 4G networks and improvements to existing 2G and 3G networks that can handle more information.
Suraj Shetty, vice president of product marketing at Cisco, said such improvements in networks would be vital to keep pace with the huge growth the firm anticipates.
"By 2016, 60 per cent of mobile users - three billion people worldwide - will belong to the ‘Gigabyte Club,' each generating more than one gigabyte of mobile data traffic per month. By contrast, in 2011, only one-half per cent of mobile users qualified," he said.
"This impressive growth in mobile traffic will be driven by more powerful devices, notably smartphones and tablets, using faster networks, such as 4G and Wi-Fi, to access more applications, particularly data-intensive video."
Cisco also predicted that by 2016, 71 per cent of the 1.6 billion smartphones and tablets in the market will be able to connect to the internet using internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) technology.
So far mass rollouts of IPv6 technology have failed to take off but as the number of IPv4 addresses is close to running out firms will be forced to start adding this capability to devices and networking equipment.
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