Data, Where Are You?

By Dennis Doyel, COO

The recent news that T-Mobile will no longer count several online video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, ESPN and HBO GO against an individual’s data plan was undoubtedly met with cheers from consumers. After all, who doesn’t want to be able to binge watch their favorite episodes of Game of Thrones or Empire from the devices they have at hand all the time – their cell phones? The one stipulation is that the video streams will be available at a lower resolution – 480p – which is definitely a lesser quality than most people are used to viewing. It is still a tremendous benefit for end users, however, and it remains to be seen whether other carriers, such as AT&T and Verizon, will follow in T-Mobile’s footsteps.

All this chatter about data usage, especially for video streaming, got us thinking – what is the state of mobile data usage today? And, what will it look like in the future? For answers, we looked to several industry experts and found some very interesting trends…

In 2014 (the most recent year available)*:

  • Worldwide mobile data traffic grew 69 percent in 2014, reaching 2.5 exabytes per month, compared to 1.5 exabytes per month in 2013.
  • Mobile video traffic surpassed 50 percent of total mobile data traffic, increasing to 55 percent by the end of 2014.
  • Average smartphone usage grew 45 percent in 2014, and the typical smartphone generated 37 times more mobile data traffic (819 MB per month) than the typical basic-feature cell phone (22 MB per month).

By 2020**:

  • Advanced mobile technology will be commonplace with 70 percent of people across the globe using smartphones.
  • Video traffic, driven by video streaming services and increasing frequency of video-based online content, will grow 55 percent per year until 2020.
  • The average monthly data usage per smartphone in North America will increase dramatically, from 2.4 GB today to 14 GB by 2020.

If your company is experiencing first-hand how this data overload impacts your bottom line, Mobile Solutions can help. We simplify enterprise mobility management, handling all the details like data overuse monitoring and mobile expense management so that you and your IT team don’t have to. Let us show you how we do it – sign up for a free demo today.

*All 2014 statistics are drawn from the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update. 

**All 2020 projections are drawn from the latest Mobility Report from Ericsson.