New York: Mobile connected devices are set to outnumber humans by the year 2016, according to a new study published by US technology giant Cisco systems Inc.
The study which examined the growth of mobile Internet, video, data and smartphones predicted that there would be more than 10 billion mobile-connected devices by 2016, more than the estimated global population of 7.3 billion by United Nations.
"By 2016, 60 per cent of mobile users -- 3 billion people worldwide -- will belong to the `Gigabyte Club`, each generating more than one gigabyte of mobile data traffic per month," Suraj Shetty, vice president of product and solutions marketing, Cisco said.
"By contrast, in 2011, only one-half per cent of mobile users qualified. This impressive growth in mobile traffic will be driven by more powerful devices, notably smartphones and tablets, using faster networks, such as 4G and Wi-Fi, to access more applications, particularly data-intensive video," he said.
There were 7 billion mobile-connected devices like smartphones, laptops and other portable gadgets across the globe in 2011, accounting for 0.9 devices per capita. That
figure will increase to 1.4 devices per capita by the year`s end.
Cisco expects the increase in mobile phone use to come largely from the Middle East and Africa, which are predicted to experience a compound annual growth rate of 104 per cent,
along with the Asia Pacific region which is tipped to experience a 84 per cent growth in mobile phone ownership.
Wireless Internet usage is expected to expand significantly in the coming years with traffic multiplying 18 times by 2016, accounting for 130 exabytes of data per year.
This huge increase in Internet use is being driven by smartphones and tablets that stream so much music and video that these alone will increase by 95 per cent a year between now and 2016, according to the Cisco study.
It also examined the rise of machine-to-machine communications (m2m), which includes devices like air-conditioning units, smart fridges, telephones and security systems.
Cisco expects m2m data traffic to increase 22 fold between 2011-2016, representing an 86 per cent annual increase for the next five years.