NEW YORK, USA: Mobile data traffic from embedded computing devices is increasing so rapidly that if current trends continue, the total number of bytes sent each month in 2014 will equal the total equivalent traffic measured in 2008. This traffic originates from laptops, netbooks and Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) that are equipped “out of the box” with cellular or mobile broadband modems.
ABI Research estimates that nearly 7,900 petabytes of data will be sent in 2014. Laptops and netbooks will account for about 90% of the traffic, with the contribution from MIDs and media tablets remaining fairly small.
According to senior analyst Jeff Orr: “Though the portion of laptops, netbooks and MIDs that are sold with embedded modems will not reach a majority within our forecast period, it will nonetheless be significant; the fact that network operators are offering modem-equipped netbooks at a subsidized price with a data service contract is an endorsement of the concept of embedded modems as opposed to add-on USB modems.”
Not surprisingly, the bulk of the data traffic comes in about equal measure from Europe, North America and parts of Asia. It is driven by the highly competitive nature of home and wireless broadband markets and the sheer number of computing devices owned by consumers in those parts of the world.
Will the rollouts of 4G networks in these areas drive much of this data traffic demand? Not at all: ABI Research forecasts indicate that even in 2014, 4G will handle only a tiny fraction of the traffic; the vast bulk will be handed about equally by 3G and 2G networks.