According to research and predictions by Cisco, the average North American smartphone user could consume 6GB of data per month by 2017. The annual report, which has been released six times now, shows smartphone data usage increasing 13-fold worldwide in the next four years. The average North American user currently consumes 752MB per month as of 2012, and the worldwide average is just 200MB. In just four short years those numbers are expected to hit 6GB and 2GB, respectively. These numbers are even slightly more conservative than previous years and estimates from other entities.
The Asia-Pacific region numbers are just as startling, where Cisco predicts usage will increase from 136MB to 1.75GB and the region will account for as much as 47.1-percent of all data consumed worldwide. The report also explains that in 2012 just 1-percent of connections in the world were 4G, but those connections drove 14-percent of mobile data traffic. By 2017, that is predicted to rise to 10-percent of connections and 45-percent of data traffic.
It's no secret that the introduction of new, faster devices and plentiful LTE connectivity will fuel quick increases in mobile data consumption. The unknown at this point is whether or not network operators will be able to continue to offer these connections at a reasonable cost going forward. Let's hope that they can keep up with the times as our world continues to move towards mobile devices.