Cisco predicts that 578 million people in the world will be using wearable devices in the coming four years, a fivefold increase over the 109 million people using them in 2014. With smartwatches and fitness gear becoming the latest fad, the mobile data traffic will increase by a factor of 18, with a greater part of that traffic being channeled through smartphones, forecast the networking giant in its annual look ahead at traffic trends.

Cisco has predicted that 69percent of the world’s population which is forecast to be 7.6 billion by 2019 will use mobile devices by 2019. That would make nearly 5.2 billion mobile users.

Overall, there will be 11.5 billion mobile users by 2019 (since one person can own multiple devices). Of these, 8.3 billion will be users of personal mobile devices like smartphones, tablet devices and laptops. The remaining 3.2 billion connections will come from machine-to-machine communications which will include wearable devices like smartwatches, wireless wearable cameras and fitness trackers.

Undoubtedly, an increase in the number of mobile users will push up global wireless data traffic. While observing that wearable devices are already generating six times the traffic than a basic handset every month, Cisco has predicted a tenfold increase by 2019.

“To put 292 exabytes in perspective, that is the equivalent of the Earth’s population posting more than two daily video clips to YouTube, or 23 images to Instagram, every a day for a year,” observes PCWorld.

The Cisco report has also pointed out that mobile carriers will not depend solely on their cellular networks to handle this hugely increased traffic. Instances of offloading, where traffic is passed off from cellular networks to Wi-Fi and small-cell networks, will increase to 54 percent. 46% mobile traffic was offloaded in this manner last year, points out the report.
90percent of total mobile data traffic is expected to come from cloud servi’ces like Netflix, Spotify and YouTube, predicting it to grow from 2 exabytes per month in 2014 to 21.8 exabytes per month by 2019.

The users will be able to access all these services at faster speeds as well, with the average mobile speed going up from 1.7Mbps in 2014 to 4Mbps by 2019.

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