With the increasing usage of smartphones and other handheld devices across the globe, mobile traffic data is consistently on the rise. In 2011, mobile traffic data was estimated at around 3.9 trillion megabytes, generating revenue worth US$326.1 billion. With the growing number of mobile phone users, mobile traffic data is expected to reach up to 39.9 trillion megabytes and the global mobile data traffic market is forecast to reach a valuation of US$628.1 billion by 2016.
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Growing Number of Mobile Broadband Subscribers to Propel Market
According to the International Telecommunication Union, mobile-broadband subscriptions had spiked to 2.3 billion globally by the end of 2014. Affordable handsets with competitive 3G and 4G prices has led to an increasing number of mobile-broadband subscribers. During the period between 2012 and 2018, increasing number of mobile-broadband subscribers will propel the growth of the global mobile data traffic market.
The popularity of social media along with various mobile applications is expected to help the market grow. Communication service providers and mobile app developers will lead the overall market with new data plans and mobile applications. However, though mobile traffic is expected to grow tenfold in the span of the next five years, revenue generated from mobile traffic is forecast to witness a twofold growth.
Web Browsing and Video/Music Streaming to Propel Global Mobile Traffic Data Market
The global mobile data traffic market can be segmented on the basis of the services used by the mobile-broadband subscribers. Social networking, video and music streaming, mobile games, web browsing, and mobile apps are some of the most used services by the subscribers. With social media becoming an inseparable part of the lives of the users, the demand for mobile data traffic has increased. It is estimated that the social networking website Facebook had 798 million mobile users daily as in March 2015.
Web browsing and video or music streaming are the top services driving demand from the global mobile data traffic market. Though music streaming easily generates hundreds of megabytes of data, consumption of data varies greatly between different mobile music apps. For example, music streaming through Spotify may lead to more data consumption compared to streaming through Pandora. Video streaming is expected to dominate the overall market in the near future.
Asia Pacific to Lead Global Mobile Traffic Data Market
The global mobile data traffic market has been categorized into four key regions: Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and Rest of the World. The International Telecommunication Union revealed that in 2014, mobile-broadband subscriptions grew fastest in the developing economies. Europe witnessed the highest mobile-broadband penetration level in 2014 and has emerged as the leading region of the global mobile data traffic market. However, during the period between 2012 and 2018, Asia Pacific will become the largest market for mobile data traffic.
Key Players in Global Mobile Traffic Data Market
The global mobile data traffic market is witnessing a number of developments. Some of the key players such as Google are trying to connect the world through free internet, whereas communication service providers are complaining about their loss of revenue through features such as free video calling and messaging, and are hence interested to raise the charges of mobile data. Some of the key players in the global mobile data traffic market are Google Inc., Qualcomm Incorporated, China Telecom Corporation Limited, Mobixell Networks, Apple, Inc., PacketVideo Corporation, Sprint, T-MobileUSA, and QuickPlay Media.