Internet of things to drive more mobile data use

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Internet of things to drive more mobile data use

Networks still struggling to enable advanced cloud applications.

Machine to machine communications arising as part of the “internet of everything” trend are going to contribute significantly to a six-fold increase in mobile data traffic forecast for Australia by 2017 says Cisco.

Speaking at the Cisco Live conference being held in Melbourne this week, Cisco global technology policy vice president Robert Pepper said it was the supply chain management and manufacturing sectors, along with in-car communications that would contribute to growth in mobile data traffic that was machine-led.

“Almost everybody who’s going to be connected is connected in Australia,” said Pepper. Which means mobile data growth is likely to come from more devices being connected, with richer content being consumed via those devices.

Cisco is predicting that Australian mobile data traffic will increase at an compound annual growth rate of 40 percent to 0.075 exabytes within the next five years.

Of that, the share contributed by machine to machine devices is expected to grow to 28 percent, second only to smartphones with 51 percent share, and well behind laptops with 13 percent share.

This would also put Australia well ahead of the global average for machine to machine communications of 16.5 percent.

The growth in 4G devices and connectivity is also expected to dramatically change the landscape for mobile data consumption, with laptops again losing out.

Already, Cisco says 4G smartphone data traffic is sitting at 1.3 gigabytes per month, compared with 342 megabytes for non-4G smartphones.

“When people are shifting from laptops to smartphones, the consumption per device shifts,” said Pepper.

By 2017, rather than the current gaps in consumption between 4G smartphones, tablets and laptops, Cisco is forecasting a leveling out, with all expected to consume between 5 and 6 gigabytes of data per month.

“Tablets are going to be predominantly 4G and if you look at the processer speeds, the chip sets, the displays the retinal displays etc. essentially the lines blur, not just in terms of data usage but consumer acceptance and the use of devices,” Pepper told iTNews.

Meanwhile, the use of advanced cloud applications, such as high-res video chat, high-definition design collaboration and high-res video file sharing remains a challenge for most countries, including Australia, said Pepper.

Currently, Cisco analysis shows only Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore have both the mobile speeds and latency to support the concurrent use of advanced cloud applications.

“Advanced cloud applications are going to require advanced networks,” said Pepper.

“It’s going to require fibre to every single tower and base station. Without that you’re not going to be able to support it.”

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