More good reasons to take mobile tech seriously

Fri, 2014-04-18 06:00 -- Doug Cooley

City officials wondering how important it is to optimize their networks for mobile users may be interested in a recent report from Cisco. Our SCC Global Partner predicts that the global appetite for data over mobile devices will  soar exponentially between now and 2018.

The report, which Cisco refers to as its Visual Networking Index (VNI), is an ongoing effort to forecast and analyze the growth and use of IP networks worldwide. The forecast is quite clear about the mobile networking trend between 2014 and 2018:  More mobile phone subscribers will use more data than in previous years. How much more? Worldwide usage will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 61% by 2018. In terms of sheer data, the world will consume 15.9 exabytes of data per month by 2018.

Here are other Cisco forecast numbers that quantify the growth:

    • Mobile connections will rise from 7 billion in 2013 to 10.2 billion in 2018
    • Mobile users will increase from 4.1 billion in 2013 to 4.9 billion in 2018
    • Mobile video traffic will increase from 53% of traffic in 2013 to 69% of traffic in 2018

The United States is the current mobile traffic leader, accounting for 24% of global mobile traffic.  By 2018 that number is expected to decline to 17%, Cisco predicts.  By 2018, the combined traffic of the United States, China, India, Japan, and Korea will account for about half of all mobile traffic.

One response to the growing demand for mobile data can be seen among cities developing mobile apps. These apps connect citizens via smartphones with city services and information about public transit routes, traffic congestion and public safety matters. Visit our Apps Gallery to see examples of apps that cities are offering (free one-time registration required).