Global mobile data traffic is set to reach 52 million terabytes (TB) in 2015, an increase of 59 per cent from 2014, research firm Gartner today said.
The rapid growth is set to continue through 2018, when mobile data levels are estimated to reach 173 million TB, Gartner said in a statement. "Mobile data traffic is soaring worldwide, more than tripling by 2018.
New, fast mobile data connections (3G and 4G) will grow more slowly, from 3.8 billion in 2015 to 5.1 billion in 2018, as users switch from slower 2G connections and consume more mobile data," Gartner Research Director Jessica Ekholm said.
Communication service providers (CSPs) must create and sell data plans with higher caps to increase their share of this growing market.
"With video usage as a percentage of total data usage set to rise from 50 per cent now to 60 per cent by 2018, we should expect CSPs to offer the best-of-breed video experience to consumers," Ekholm said.
This involves using video optimisation technologies and caching content closer to the consumer, she added. "Contract plans that single out video traffic to allow users to reach a certain cap (without touching their contract data cap) will increase usage and revenue for CSPs and meet consumer demand for more mobile video," Ekholm said.