For the curious, mobile traffic amounted to 5 exabytes (1 exabyte equals 1 million terabytes) in 2012, and that number is expected to grow to 21 exabytes by 2017.
With smartphones ending up in every pocket mobile traffic has been doubling every year and with higher quality displays and the subsequent demand for high-definition video on the go, the mobile data traffic will only grow.
Still, the rate of growth will slow down somewhat as markets get saturated with the new devices and the annual pace of growth should reach around 32%.
Interestingly, if you break down all the sources of increased mobile traffic, apps themselves are not among the leaders. Video streaming is the most data intensive type of activity we do and even mobile websites consume more data than apps. Of course, the biggest challenge will be for carriers who’d have to provide the pipeline and find the right price per megabyte to both stay profitable and keep users happy.
“More and more mobile carriers are concerned about cost effective delivery of a good mobile video experience on smartphones over 3G, 4G and WiFi,” Strategy Analytics wireless service director Susan Welsh de Grimaldo said. “More critically, carriers are asking how to monetize this growth in video traffic to profit from major investments made in LTE and other network upgrades.”
source: Tech Crunch