4G Networks to Handle More Data Traffic Than 3G Networks by 2016

Oyster Bay, New York - 24 Sep 2013

Even though 4G’s share of cellular subscriptions stood at a meager 2.9% at the end of 2Q 2013, it is expected to account for slightly more than 20% of the total data consumed on mobile networks worldwide this year. After surpassing 3G networks in 2016, 4G networks will go on to capture two-thirds of data traffic by 2018, according to market intelligence firm ABI Research.

4G data traffic will surge at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 82.2% between this year and 2018. Underpinning this trend is the aggressive LTE network deployment by wireless operators and the expanding portfolio of smartphones and tablets which are also falling in price. “These two factors work hand in hand to enable consumers to stream videos,” comments Ying Kang Tan, research associate at ABI Research. “Already, Verizon saw video accounting for 50% of its network traffic earlier this year. ABI Research believes global annual video consumption will soar at a CAGR of 60.6% to exceed 100 Exabyte in 2018.”

Despite growing at the slowest rate, Internet surfing will still contribute to 27% of the data traffic consumed.

“The result is that the revenue generated from data traffic – excluding that from texting – will increase at a CAGR of 7.9% between 2013 and 2018,” notes Jake Saunders, practice director and VP, core forecasting. “However, voice service revenue will still take up the bulk (52.7%) of the global total in 2018. Operators still need to improve their voice quality and not lose sight of this segment.”

The “Mobile Carriers and Revenue” and “Mobile Data Traffic & Usage” Market Data provide a robust source of financial and operational benchmarks, as well as traffic and end-user related metrics respectively, not just for the markets as a whole, but also for mobile cellular carriers. These findings are part of ABI Research’s Mobile ARPU and Mobile Traffic Research Services.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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