Cisco says average North American mobile user to gobble up 6GB of data monthly by 2017

Cisco says average North American mobile user to gobble up 6GB of data monthly by 2017
According to Cisco Systems, the average North American mobile consumer is going to see a huge explosion in the amount of monthly data he or she consumes by the time 2017 rolls around. Currently, the average amount of data used in the region is 752MB and if Cisco is right, that number will skyrocket to 6GB in five years. While that might make the carriers nervous about clogs in the network, it also means that customers will have to spring for higher monthly data allowances if they are not on an unlimited plan. And even if they are with a carrier that offers unlimited data, the customer could still be subject to throttling.

Cisco's forecast has the average global mobile user going from a current monthly average of 200MB to 2GB used monthly by 2017. The average mobile consumer viewed one hour of video per month in 2012, a figure that is expected to soar to 10 hours monthly by 2017. Breaking the data down by region shows that subscribers in Asia-Pacific will use 1.75 GB per month on average in five years from the current average of 136MB per month. Most regions of the world will show similar growth, according to Cisco. The Asia-Pacific region will have the largest growth in mobile subscribers by volume from 2012-2017, from 2.2 billion to 2.8 billion. The number of mobile devices will rise from 3.47 billion to 5.24 billion. During the same time period, North American mobile subscribers will rise from 288 million to 316 million and the number of mobile devices will grow to 841 million from 549 million.

So what are we doing with all of this data? According to Cisco, in North America smartphone's share of consumed data will rise to 52% in 2017 from 49% in 2012. Tablets' share of used data will rise from 6.8% to 28.3% during the same time period. That is a big difference from the Asia-Pacific region where smartphones will be used to consume 78% of data in 2017 from 46% last year. Tablets will grab 5.1% of data used in that region in five years.

Cisco forecasts the number of 4G LTE connections rising to from 60.4 million in 2012 to 135.2 million in 2013 and soaring to 992 million in 2017. In 2012, just 1% of global connections were 4G LTE, but that accounted for 14% of mobile data traffic. By 2017, 4G LTE will be responsible for 10% of global connections and 45% of mobile data traffic. According to Cisco, by 2017 the total amount of data consumed each month will reach 11.2 exabytes per month. Each exabyte equals 1 billion GB.

source: FierceWireless 



1. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I can hit 5GB easily just using Netflix, Youtube, web browsing, games with network features, streaming music and radio apps. Thats not power user things. My kids and their mother hit 10GB easily. The difference between them and me is I got cable, internet, game consoles...their smartphone is their only real source of entertainment at home. And when I'm home I switch to Wifi.

2. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I hit around 8GB per month but 6-7 of that is wifi data. I still have a 3G phone so I'm sure once I do get a 4G device, that number will even out. 3G is just frustrating to use for heavy data applications.

3. Blaw87

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 11, 2011

752 MB seems low to me, I think I use that much just in downloads and texting. I average around 75 GB a month, I can't imagine not using that much. My mobile hotspot and pandora are my main two uses. Gotta love being grandfathered into an unlimited plan on Verizon still.

4. Jyakotu

Posts: 867; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I barely hit even 2GB, mainly because I always look for Wi-Fi the first chance I get. Mobile data makes my GNex's battery hot and it actually drains the battery faster, not to mention, Sprint hasn't brought 4G LTE to my city yet, so their 3G is slow. Even if they did have 4G LTE in my city, I think I'd still use Wi-Fi mainly, but it's nice to know that 4G LTE would be a viable option if Wi-Fi wasn't available at that moment. When I'm on Wi-Fi, the battery stays cool and the battery life isn't horrible. And plus, my main source of entertainment for me is my laptop, TV, and PS3. My phone is mainly used for checking GMail, listening to music via Google Play Music, some light web browsing and social netowrking (Facebook and Twitter, mainly), and certain games that require an Internet connection. I never really understood people who use their phone for everything. It really doesn't make sense to me. And I still haven't jumped on the tablet bandwagon, because whenever I play with an iPad or an Android tablet, I just feel like I'm using a bigger iPhone or Android phone. But different strokes for different folks.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.