Mobile data tsunami

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Expert predicts mobile data tsunami

A 'tsunami' of demand for mobile data is imminent, according to a senior figure at one of the world's leading communications firms.

Suraj Shetty, vice president of marketing at Cisco Worldwide Service Provider Marketing, issued the warning after his company published mobile data traffic figures for 2011 and predicted what is likely to happen over the next five years. His comments are likely to concern mobile networks across the world, with some already struggling to meet the needs of consumers who have become used to surfing the web, uploading large files and streaming content on smartphones and tablets.

Mobile data traffic figures

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2011 saw a 2.3-fold increase in mobile data traffic worldwide to 597 petabytes. Moreover, this figure is expected to grow by an average of 78 per cent per year over the next five years, reaching 10.8 exabytes by 2016.

Commenting on the Cisco report, Mr Shetty warned: "A tsunami of mobile data traffic is headed our way, growing in size and speed through 2016 and likely beyond. Over the next five years, mobile data traffic worldwide will grow 18-fold!"

Mark Baker, online marketing manager at theEword, said: "The phenomenal rise in mobile data usage shows why businesses can no longer afford to ignore mobile. However, this explosion in demand does pose problems for some. Mobile networks that fail to make adequate provision for their customers will quickly become irrelevant, so the smart ones need to invest heavily in boosting capacity now before it's too late."