Mobile Internet use to surge


Mobile Internet use will increase at a rate of 66 percent each year for the next five years, according to a Cisco report. (ANDREW WINNING/REUTERS)
February 6, 2013

Mobile Internet use will continue to surge over the next five years, at a rate of 66 percent each year, as the world gets its hands on more mobile devices and more machines are connected to each other and the Web, according to a report by Cisco released late Tuesday.

In fact, connected devices will outnumber humans this year, according to the annual Visual Networking Index report.

The surge in mobile Internet traffic will come from a global population doing more functions throughout the day over wireless gadgets.

By 2017, the average mobile user will watch 10 hours of video, listen to 15 hours of music, make five video calls and download 15 apps each month.

In all, global mobile traffic will increase to 134 exabytes in 2017, according to the firm’s Visual Networking Index.

The Federal Communications Comission is proposing a plan that could expand WiFi access across the nation, potentially undermining cellphone and Internet service providers. The line in the sand is drawn, with the telecommunication industry on one side and Internet giants on the other. The Post’s Cecilia Kang discusses the contentious move. (The Washington Post)

To get to that number, every human on the planet would have to exchange 10 text photos or Instagrams every day for an entire year. Or, every human would have to view one video clip on YouTube every day for a year.

And people will use their mobile devices more than home computers to access the Internet. In five years, Cisco said mobile data traffic will outgrow global land-line data traffic by three times.

What's driving all this mobile Internet activity?

All you users. By 2017, there will be an estimated 5.2 billion people using mobile phones, up from 4.3 billion in 2012. There will also be about 1.7 billion connected machines — anything from a home appliance to a car — in five years.

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Cecilia Kang is a staff writer covering the business of media and entertainment.
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