Data traffic generated by smartphones, feature phones and tablets will approach 197,000 petabytes by 2019, with average monthly data usage by smartphone and tablet users doubling, according to a recent study. The research also showed that only 41 percent of the data generated will be carried over cellular networks by 2019, with the majority of mobile data traffic offloaded to Wi-Fi networks. Video traffic over smartphones will increase by nearly eight times between 2014 and 2019. Video currently accounts for around 60 percent of global IP traffic.
These findings are interesting in light of the “Wi-Fi first” phenomenon. Within the next five years, it appears that more data will go over Wi-Fi networks than over cellular. We are seeing a blurring of the boundaries between traditional cellular and Wi-Fi, for voice as well as data, aided by the proliferation of OTT service providers. Mobile operators must take note of this trend and devise ways to meet the challenge, including creating their own Wi-Fi networks.