Wireless & Mobile Landscape

Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, 2016 – 2021: Still Growing and No Signs of Slowing

Due to both the increasing number of mobile connections in the world and the subscribers’ desire to stay constantly connected through their mobile device, the amount of data flowing over the world’s mobile network is increasing exponentially. iGR estimates that in 2016, approximately eight million terabytes of mobile data traffic flowed over the world’s cellular data networks per month, and by 2021, the expected first year of commercial 5G network deployments, iGR forecasts mobile data traffic will rise to 76 million terabytes per month.

This report forecasts the mobile data traffic from 2016 to 2021 at the global level, as well as for the following regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Japan.

For each region, iGR forecasts the number of connections, the amount of data usage per connection per month in four different quartiles, and the total amount of mobile data traffic per month.


Key Questions Answered

  • What are the drivers of mobile data traffic?
  • What are some of the limiting factors on the amount of mobile data traffic?
  • What is mobile data usage today in all regions of the world and at what rate is mobile data usage expected to grow over the forecast period?
  • For each region, how much mobile data traffic is used by an average mobile connection?
  • For each region, how much mobile data traffic is used by each quartile?
  • What levels of mobile data usage of some of the major mobile operators in each region experiencing and what initiatives are they using to meet the demand?

Who Should Read

  • Mobile operators
  • Device OEMs
  • Mobile infrastructure and equipment OEMs
  • Content providers and distributors
  • Financial analysts and investors.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Executive Summary
  • Methodology
  • Introduction
    • Developed Markets
    • Developing Markets
  • Factors Influencing Mobile Data Demand
    • Population and Connections
    • Networks
    • Devices
    • Price
    • Content
    • Internet of Things
  • Mobile Data Forecast Methodology
    • Connections, not Subscribers
    • Quartiles
  • World Mobile Data Usage
  • North America
    • North America Mobile Operator Updates
      • AT&T
      • Sprint
      • T-Mobile US
      • Verizon Wireless
      • Rogers Communications
      • Telus Mobility
  • Latin America and Caribbean
    • Latin America Mobile Operator Updates
      • Telefonica
      • America Movil
  • Europe
    • Europe Mobile Operator Updates
      • Orange
      • TurkCell Group
      • Vimpelcom
      • Vodafone
  • Middle East and Africa
    • Middle East and Africa Mobile Operator Updates
      • Etisalat
      • Ooredoo
      • Vimpelcom
      • Vodafone
  • Asia-Pacific
    • Asia-Pacific Mobile Operator Updates
      • Axiata Group
      • China Mobile
      • China Unicom
      • China Telecom
      • Idea Cellular
      • Ooredoo
      • Reliance Communications
      • SingTel Group
      • Vimpelcom
      • Vodafone
  • Japan
    • Japan Mobile Operator Updates
      • NTT DoCoMo
      • SoftBank
      • KDDI
  • Definitions
    • General
    • Device Types
    • Services
    • Network Technology
    • Regions
  • About iGR
    • Disclaimer

List of Tables

  • Table 1: Worldwide Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 2: Worldwide Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021(000)
  • Table 3: Total Global Mobile Data Traffic (TB) per month by region, 2016-2021
  • Table 4: Total Global Mobile Data Traffic by region, 2016-2021 (percent)
  • Table 5: Total Global Mobile Data Traffic by quartile, 2016-2021 (percent)
  • Table 6: Average Mobile Data Consumption per Region (MB/month), 2016-2021
  • Table 7: North America Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021 (000s)
  • Table 8: Connections per Quartile in North America, 2016-2021 (000s)
  • Table 9: Per-Connection Mobile Data Use (MB/month) in North America, 2016-2021
  • Table 10: Total Mobile Data Traffic (TB/month) in North America, 2016-2021
  • Table 11: Percentage of Mobile Data Traffic by Quartile in North America, 2016-2021
  • Table 12: Latin America Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 13: Connection per Quartile in Latin America (000s), 2016-2021
  • Table 14: Per-Connection Mobile Data Use (MB/month) in Latin America, 2016-2021
  • Table 15: Total Mobile Data Traffic (TB/month) in Latin America, 2016-2021
  • Table 16: Percentage of Mobile Data Traffic by Quartile in Latin America, 2016-2021
  • Table 17: Per Quarter Mobile Data Traffic, Telefonica 2015-2016
  • Table 18: Europe Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 19: Connection per Quartile in Europe, 2016-2021
  • Table 20: Per-Connection Mobile Data Use (MB/month) in Europe, 2016-2021
  • Table 21: Total Mobile Data Traffic (TB/month) in Europe, 2016-2021
  • Table 22: Percentage of Mobile Data Traffic by Quartile in Europe, 2016-2021
  • Table 23: Orange’s 4G subscribers, Third Quarter 2016
  • Table 24: Vimpelcom Italy
  • Table 25: Vimpelcom Russia
  • Table 26: Vimpelcom Ukraine
  • Table 27: Vodafone 4G Statistics by European Country
  • Table 28: Middle East and Africa Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 29: Connection per Quartile in MEA, 2016-2021
  • Table 30: Per-Connection Mobile Data Use (MB/month) in MEA, 2016-2021
  • Table 31: Total Mobile Data Traffic (TB/month) in MEA, 2016-2021
  • Table 32: Percentage of Mobile Data Traffic by Quartile in MEA, 2016-2021
  • Table 33: Vimpelcom Algeria
  • Table 34: Asia-Pacific Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 35: Connections per Quartile in Asia-Pacific, 2016-2021
  • Table 36: Per-Connection Mobile Data Use (MB/month) in Asia-Pacific, 2016-2021
  • Table 37: Total Mobile Data Traffic (TB/month) in Asia-Pacific, 2016-2021
  • Table 38: Percentage of Mobile Data Traffic by Quartile in Asia-Pacific, 2016-2021
  • Table 39: China Mobile Customer and Network Statistics
  • Table 40: China Telecom Customer and Network Statistics
  • Table 41: Vimpelcom Pakistan
  • Table 42: Vimpelcom Bangladesh
  • Table 43: Japan Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 44: Japan Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021(000)
  • Table 45: Per-Connection Mobile Data Use (MB/month) in Japan, 2016-2021
  • Table 46: Total Mobile Data Traffic (TB/month) in Japan, 2016-2021
  • Table 47: Percentage of Mobile Data Traffic by Quartile in Japan, 2016-2021

List of Charts

  • Figure A: Global Connections by Region, 2016-2021
  • Figure B: Total global mobile data traffic by region, 2016-2021 (percent)
  • Figure 1: Worldwide Connections and Population, 2016-2021(000)
  • Figure 2: Worldwide Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021(000)
  • Figure 3: Total global mobile data traffic (TB) per month by region, 2016-2021
  • Figure 4: Total global mobile data traffic by region, 2016-2021 (percent)
  • Figure 5: Total global mobile data traffic by quartile, 2016-2021 (percent)
  • Figure 6: Average Mobile Data Consumption per Region (MB/month), 2016-2021
  • Figure 7: North America Connections and Population, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 8: Per-Connection Mobile Data Use (MB/month) in North America, 2016-2021
  • Figure 9: Total Mobile Data Traffic (TB/month) in North America, 2016-2021
  • Figure 10: Percentage of Mobile Data Traffic by Quartile in North America, 2016-2021
  • Figure 11: Latin America Connections and Population, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 12: Per-Connection Mobile Data Use (MB/month) in Latin America, 2016-2021
  • Figure 13: Total Mobile Data Traffic (TB/month) in Latin America, 2016-2021
  • Figure 14: Percentage of Mobile Data Traffic by Quartile in Latin America, 2016-2021
  • Figure 15: Per Quarter Mobile Data Traffic (in Terabytes), Telefonica 2015-2016
  • Figure 16: Europe Connections and Population, 2016-2021(000)
  • Figure 17: Per-Connection Mobile Data Use (MB/month) in Europe, 2016-2021
  • Figure 18: Total Mobile Data Traffic (TB/month) in Europe, 2016-2021
  • Figure 19: Percentage of Mobile Data Traffic by Quartile in Europe, 2016-2021
  • Figure 20: Middle East and Africa Connections and Population, 2016-2021(000)
  • Figure 21: Per-Connection Mobile Data Use (MB/month) in MEA, 2016-2021
  • Figure 22: Total Mobile Data Traffic (TB/month) in MEA, 2016-2021
  • Figure 23: Percentage of Mobile Data Traffic by Quartile in MEA, 2016-2021
  • Figure 24: Asia-Pacific Connections and Population, 2016-2021(000)
  • Figure 25: Per-Connection Mobile Data Use (MB/month) in Asia-Pacific, 2016-2021
  • Figure 26: Total Mobile Data Traffic (TB/month) in Asia-Pacific, 2016-2021
  • Figure 27: Percentage of Mobile Data Traffic by Quartile in Asia-Pacific, 2016-2021
  • Figure 28: Japan Connections and Population, 2016-2021(000)
  • Figure 29: Per-Connection Mobile Data Use (MB/month) in Japan, 2016-2021
  • Figure 30: Total Mobile Data Traffic (TB/month) in Japan, 2016-2021
  • Figure 31: Percentage of Mobile Data Traffic by Quartile in Japan, 2016-2021

For additional information on the Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, 2016 – 2021 market study, please contact Iain Gillott at (512) 263-5682 or by email.