By Aldo Panessidi
Riddle me this Batman: what exactly is an exabyte? Technically it is “a unit of information or computer storage equal to 1quintillion bytes.” Wrapping your head around this large of a number is like trying to fathom the national debt of the United States and all of its ramifications.
So when we saw Cisco’s Visual Networking Forecast that shows global mobile data traffic projection for the next five years, the numbers were similarly difficult to swallow: 10.8 exabytes per month. To put it in perspective, this is an 18-fold increase from today’s data consumption. And with 71% of this massive amount of data will be consumed by cloud traffic and the approximate 10 billion mobile Internet-connected devices projected to be in use in 2016.
With the world population expected to be 7.3 billion, these numbers point to a trend of consumers toting around more than one device. They will be streaming video, data, and music at faster speeds on their tablets, smartphones, iPod, MacBooks and laptops televisions thanks to quickly adopted technology from LTE networks to the actual devices. More specifically, it is the jump in smartphone adoption that is the driving force in these huge data growth projections as this will account for 8 billion of the 10 billion devices expected to be in use.
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This staggering number of devices and leaps in technology will likely have a domino effect where consumers will require smarter accessories to integrate their devices into daily life without becoming cumbersome. And, with this kind of huge adoption of technology and cloud services, the question of what role the telecommunication giants will have comes into play. Even now we are seeing a shift towards internet-based services and unlocked cell phones that provide consumers with other choices beyond the traditional carriers.
Wherever the trends and technology go, we will be sure to keep you apprised as they change and shape a different future.