Western Europe and Asia-Pacific driving mobile data growth
Western Europe and Asia-Pacific will account for over 60% of global mobile data traffic by 2013, according to Cisco Systems’ Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast.
In many countries in Europe, mobile operators are offering mobile broadband services at prices and speeds comparable to fixed broadband.
Though there are often data caps on mobile broadband services that are lower than those of fixed broadband, some consumers are opting to forgo their fixed lines in favour of mobile. Mobile broadband substitution has a familiar ring to it from the mobile voice substitution effect that began in the late 1990s and is continuing today, according to Cisco.
The advent of laptops and high-end handsets on mobile networks is a key driver of traffic, since these devices offer the consumer content and applications not supported by the previous generation of mobile devices, according to Cisco. Chief among these new sources of traffic is video, but other applications such as peer-to-peer (P2P) are already making an impact. Despite the relatively small number of laptops with mobile broadband aircards, P2P traffic from those devices already accounts for 20% of all mobile data traffic globally. A single laptop can generate as much traffic as 450 basic-feature phones, and a high-end handset, such as an iPhone or Blackberry device, creates as much traffic as 30 basic-feature phones.