• Cisco: Video Will be 75% of Global Mobile Data Traffic by 2020

    Cisco has released its 10th annual Visual Networking Index, forecasting that video will account for 75% of global mobile data traffic by 2020, up from 55% in 2015. The U.S. is forecast to have the highest level of mobile video at 77% of mobile data traffic, a 49% annual growth rate from 2015.

    Globally, mobile data will account for 367 exabytes of data per year, an 8x increase from 44 exabytes in 2015. The growth is driven by an increase in the number of mobile users and smart mobile devices and plus faster network speeds. Cisco estimates that by 2020, 5.4 billion people, or 69% of the global population, will have mobile phones, eclipsing the 5.3 billion that have electricity and the 2.2 billion that have landlines.

    As I wrote recently, the boom in U.S. mobile video viewing is being assisted by wireless carriers’ recent data promotions. T-Mobile kicked this off with its “Binge On” program featuring dozens of video services that don’t count toward a user’s data plan. Then AT&T introduced an unlimited data plan for DirecTV and U-Verse subscribers. And Verizon recently launched “FreeBee Data,” sponsored data service. Taken together, the offers mean more people will be watching more mobile video, helping contribute to Cisco’s forecast.

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