February 19, 2013 06:00 ET

iGR Study Forecasts Global Mobile Data Traffic to Reach 10.3 Million Terabytes per Month by 2017

Mobile Data Traffic Forecast to Increase by 11 Times Between 2012 and 2017

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - Feb 19, 2013) - iGR's latest research forecasts an 11 times growth in global mobile data traffic from 889,000 terabytes per month in 2012 to 10.3 million terabytes per month in 2017. This forecast is for mobile data networks, including 3G and 4G LTE, but does not include WiFi traffic offloaded from the macro network.

iGR's mobile data traffic model estimates the amount of bandwidth consumed by a given activity -- e.g., checking email, listening to streaming music or watching streaming video, checking social sites, etc. iGR has estimated the traffic generated on a per application/use basis along with a forecast for how many times in a given time period an end user engages in the given activity. iGR has prepared a data traffic model for each region of the world -- North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Japan and Middle East & Africa. Inputs for the traffic model are taken from iGR's extensive end user behavior data.

"Although we expect developing markets' consumption of mobile data to grow faster than consumption in more mature markets, mobile data growth is significant in every region," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "In more mature markets the growth is driven by network upgrades to LTE, multiple devices per user, increasing mobile device and data usage, and a trend toward consuming content stored in the cloud via mobile devices."

To create the traffic forecast, iGR built usage profiles based on our primary and secondary consumer and enterprise research over the past several years. We divided connections into four different categories: light, medium, heavy and extreme. A connection corresponds to a device and connections can exceed subscribers. For example, a consumer in North America might have three devices -- a smartphone, laptop and a tablet.

Generally speaking, the larger the device, the more bandwidth is consumed on it. That is, a laptop connection will likely generate far more traffic than a smartphone. This is primarily because a laptop is far more conducive to heavy usage than a smartphone and is typically used in a place where the user is stationary and disposed toward consuming/generating a great deal of data traffic. That said, the advent of streaming video and audio applications (Pandora, Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Cloud Player, etc.), not to mention YouTube, makes consuming hundreds of megabytes on a smartphone quite easy. The key difference, of course, is that the laptop user could be multitasking among several different high-traffic applications whereas the smartphone user is typically only engaged in one, maybe two.

iGR's new market research report, Global Mobile Data Forecast, 2012-2017: The Rise Continues, provides detail on the expected growth of mobile data traffic for each region of the world -- North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Japan and Middle East & Africa -- from 2012 through 2017.

The following key questions are addressed in the new research study:

  • What consists of mobile data traffic?
  • What is mobile data usage like today?
  • How does mobile data usage change over the forecast period?
  • What are the drivers of mobile data traffic growth?
  • What are some differences in mobile data use by geographic region?

The information in this report will be valuable for:

  • Mobile operators
  • Device OEMs
  • Content providers and distributors
  • Financial analysts and investors.

The report can be purchased and downloaded directly from iGR's website at www.iGR-inc.comAlternatively, contact Iain Gillott at (512) 263-5682 or at for additional details.

About iGR
iGR is a market strategy consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile communications industry. Founded by Iain Gillott, one of the wireless industry's leading analysts, in late 2000 as iGillottResearch, iGR is now entering its thirteenth year of operation. iGR continuously researches emerging and existent technologies, technology industries, and consumer markets. We use our detailed research to offer a range of services to help companies improve their position in the marketplace, clearly define their future direction, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

iGR researches a range of wireless and mobile products and technologies, including: smartphones; tablets; mobile applications; bandwidth demand and use; small cell architectures; DAS; LTE; VoLTE; IMS; NFC; GSM/GPRS/UMTS/HSPA; CDMA 1x/EV-DO; iDEN; SIP; macro-, pico- and femtocells; mobile backhaul; WiFi and WiFi offload; and SIM and UICC.

A more complete profile of the company can be found at

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