While New Zealand may be regarded as a fairly 'mature' market for mobile technology, Cisco is still predicting some sizeable growth ahead, with mobile data traffic expected to grow four times as fast as fixed IP traffic through to 2018.
The vendor's Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast 2013-2018, which tracks the growth of internet traffic worldwide, says mobile data traffic will account for 12% of New Zealand fixed and mobile data traffic by 2018, up from 3% in 2013.
Mobile data will grow eight-fold – or at a compound annual growth rate of 51% - between 2013 and 2018, reaching 17.0 Petabytes per month by 2018, up from 2.2 Petabytes/month in 2013.
To put that in perspective, the 2018 figures are the equivalent of four million DVDs a month, or 47 million text messages a second, Cisco says.
When it comes to the devices we'll be using, the report says 80% of mobile connections will be 'smart' connections – well ahead of the global average of 54%. New Zealand was already clocking 50% smart connections in 2013, compared to the global average of just 21%. The report notes that 'smart devices and connections 'have advanced computing/multi-media capabilities and a minimum of 3G connectivity'.
Unsurprisingly, tablets see the greatest jump, accounting for 21% of total mobile data traffic by 2018, up from 8.0% at the end of 2013. Both smartphones and laptops will see a drop, accounting for 60% (down from 74%) and 6%, (down from 14%), respectively.
The VNI Forecast says mobile traffic per mobile-connected device – excluding M2M – will reach 2607 megabytes per month by 2018, up from 427 megabytes/month in 2013, while mobile traffic per mobile connection, including M2M, will reach 1516 megabytes per month, up from 352 megabytes per month.
Following the trend set internationally, where mobile video traffic is expected to account for 69% of all mobile data traffic in 2018, locally mobile video traffic is expected to grow at 59% CAGR, to account for 65% of New Zealand's mobile data traffic by 2018, compared to 50% at the end of 2013.
Streaming audio is expected to account for 11%, down from 19% at the end of 2013, with filesharing also down,from 8% to 5%. Web and other data, excluding M2M, takes the biggest hit, with the report predicting it will account for just 6% of New Zealand's mobile data traffic by 2018, compared to 20% at the end of 2013.
Cloud applications are expected to account for 87% of total mobile data traffic by 2018, compared to 81% at the end of 2013, with mobile cloud traffic reaching 14,877 Terabytes/month by 2018.
M2M traffic meanwhile, is expected to grow 37-fold during the period– a CAGR of 106%, reaching 2.1 Petabytes/month and accounting for 12% of total mobile data traffic by 2018, compared to 3% at the end of 2013. In New Zealand, M2M modules will be 49.0% of device connections by 2018, the report claims.
It says the number of mobile-connected M2M modules was sitting at one million in 2013, with that number expected to grow to six million by 2018.
Consumer mobile traffic is predicted to grow 52% CAGR, reaching 13,771 Terabytes/month by 2018 (from 1716 Terabytes/month in 2013) and accounting for 81% of New Zealand's mobile data traffic, up from 79% at the end of 2013.
Business mobile traffic meanwhile will grow at a CAGR of 48%, reaching 3270 Terabytes/month by 2018 and accounting for 19% of mobile data traffic by 2018, down from 21% at the end of 2013.
M2M will account for 64% of business mobile data traffic by 2018, compared to 12% at the end of 2013.