May 09 2013

CTIA: Wireless Network Data Traffic Increases by 69 Percent

The invisible bytes that zip through the air continue to multiply at rapid rates.

The explosion in the use of mobile devices among consumers and organizations means that the Information Superhighway has a lot more cars on it than it did 5 years ago.

CTIA, the wireless association, released data last week that quantifies the massive amounts of wireless data these devices are churning out.

According to the association’s year-end report for 2012, wireless network data traffic for last year clocked in at 1.468 trillion megabytes. This represents a 69 percent increase from the 866.8 billion megabytes of wireless network data traffic in 2011.

A nearly 70 percent increase in wireless data year over year is huge, but in reality, we’re only just now starting the shift toward mobile. Research firms like IDC and Gartner are predicting steady and sustained growth in both the tablet and smartphone categories for the next few years.

The forecast of continued growth in wireless activity is exactly why the FCC is making moves to free up as much wireless spectrum as it can. And it also explains the urgency behind migrating to IPv6.

We’re worried about managing data from smartphones, tablets and routers, but what happens when we realize the Internet of Things future everyone is talking about and have to support wireless data from smart bar stools and connected baseball caps?

We’re gonna need every byte we can get. Especially if, like some companies want, everyone starts life streaming in the future.

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