Surge in Video Will Drive Global Data Traffic to More Than 60,000 Petabytes in 2016

New York, New York - May 10, 2011

In 2011, the world’s annual data traffic volume will total almost 8,000 petabytes. That will grow at a CAGR of 50% over the following years, exceeding 60,000 petabytes in 2016 – over seven times more than in 2011. The year-on-year growth will be the fastest in 2012 (58%) and 2013 (56%), slightly slowing down thereafter.

While as of 2011 the web and Internet traffic category is the largest source of traffic, one of the main reasons for the future robust growth is the increasing amount of video traffic. ABI Research practice director Neil Strother says, “There are basically two types of video use cases that drive heavy traffic: clips from YouTube (and similar sites) that are often shared via other social media, as well as lengthier content like series and even films (e.g. Netflix). Video and TV streaming should surpass web and Internet traffic in 2015.”

The bigger its screen, the more entertainment the device typically delivers: laptops, media tablets and other devices larger than handsets mimic patterns seen in wired broadband usage, especially when it comes to video. The increasing uptake of such products is thus another major driver. As a result, the traffic generated by devices other than handsets will grow from about 65% of the total in 2011 to over three-fourths in 2016.

How can operators make the most of this rapidly-changing market? Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen advises that, “Pricing and data policy are relatively inexpensive ways for operators to differentiate their offerings and ease network congestion, if compared to investments in infrastructure. Operators should better align the pricing and the allowance of data plans with usage patterns. It is an area with a lot of scope for innovation.”

ABI Research’s new “Mobile Data Traffic Analysis” examines the non-voice, non-SMS/MMS traffic transferred over mobile data networks. The qualitative part of the report describes and summarizes the market and technology trends affecting the volumes and the compositions of such data, while the quantitative part provides numeric forecasts on the selected parameters for the period of 2011-2016.

It is part of the firm’s Mobile Services Research Service, which also includes other Research Reports, Surveys, Market Data, ABI Insights, and analyst inquiry support.

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 30+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit, or call +1.516.624.2500.


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