Cisco has an ongoing initiative that tracks and forecasts the impact our mobile devices have on global networks.  The most recent update of the Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast was released on February 3rd, 2015 and contains 42 pages full of stats on mobile data traffic projections and growth trends.

If you’re short on time, here’s the abridged, Twitter friendly version of Cisco’s report:

We are using our mobile devices more than ever before and there is no turning back.

While you can probably arrive at that conclusion without the help of Cisco’s data, we’ve put together a list highlighting 18 stats, insights and projections from their research to reinforce what we already know.

*All data represents global behavior unless noted otherwise*

  1. Mobile data traffic in 2014 was almost 30X the size of the entire global Internet in 2000.

  2. Mobile data traffic will increase nearly 10X between 2014 and 2019.

    Traffic-Growth Mobile Cisco

  3. There are 1,000,000,000 gigabytes in one exabyte.

  4. The top 20% of mobile users generated 85% of mobile data traffic in 2014.

  5. The top 1% of mobile users generated 18% of mobile data traffic in 2014.

  6. Smartphones accounted for 88% of the 497,000,000 new devices and connections added in 2014.

  7. The average amount of traffic per smartphone in 2014 was 819 MB per month, up from 563 MB per month in 2013.

    It seems that I generate an above average amount of traffic.  Here’s a look at my own iPhone 4 consumption between 2013-2014 using AT&T.  In September 2014 I upgraded to an iPhone 6 and switched to Verizon.Mobile Data iPhone 4 2014
    As part of a challenge/experiment, I used WiFi as often as possible, in as many places as I could, to intentionally offload data and use less than 250 MB in one month.

  8. 46% of total mobile data traffic was offloaded onto the fixed network through WiFi (or femtocell) in 2014.

  9. By 2016, more than 50% of all traffic from mobile-connected devices will be offloaded from cellular networks onto WiFi.

  10. Average iOS data consumption (smartphones and tablets) in 2014 exceeded average Android consumption in North America.

  11. In 2014, the number of mobile-connected tablets increased 1.6X to 74 million.

  12. Each mobile-connected tablet generated an average of 2,076 MB of data per month, 2.5X more traffic than the average smartphone.

  13. By comparison, mobile data traffic per laptop was 2.6 GB per month in 2014.

    Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 1.01.35 PM

  14. Mobile video will increase 13X between 2014 and 2019.

  15. By the end of 2019, 72% of the world’s total mobile data traffic will be video.

  16. The average smartphone will generate 4.0 GB of traffic per month by 2019, a 5X increase over the 2014 average.

  17. By 2019, aggregate smartphone traffic will be 10.5X greater than it is today.

    Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 12.59.13 PM

  18. Because of increased usage on smartphones, smartphones will reach three-quarters of mobile data traffic by 2019.

The increasing rate at which we consume mobile data indicates that as consumers, we’re spending more time using our mobile devices and watching videos.  As a marketer, it’s important to learn where your audience spends time, then figure out how you can capture their attention and give context behind the messages you send.  We hope this information sheds some light on where you can focus your short-term and long-term marketing initiatives to capture the attention of your audience.  If you happen to own, manage or work in marketing for a physical business that isn’t e-commerce based, we’d love to spend a few minutes learning more about how you plan on using mobile to help your marketing efforts.

So, which stats were you most surprised by?  Send us a tweet and let us know.

SocialSign.in is a marketing company based in NYC and San Francisco on a mission to help our customers connect with their visitors.  We help physical businesses transform guest WiFi into their most powerful marketing channel.  To learn more about how your business can leverage the growing use of mobile to create unique connections with guests and customers, read this.