It’s 2013, the iPhone is in its sixth iteration and it’s generally assumed that you’ll be able to check your email during a day of running errands or while you’re on vacation.
Still, for most of us, this culture is only a few years old. And according to CNN Money, we’re just beginning to discover what mobile technology is capable of.
According to a report by Swedish tech giant Ericsson, mobile traffic has been doubling for the past two years, and Cisco reported that global traffic on data networks grew by 70% last year. To illustrate the massive growth, Cisco provided these figures: The traffic on mobile data networks in 2012 was almost 12 times greater than total global internet traffic in 2000.
We can already do so much on our mobile devices—find out where we are on a map, search for the nearest gas station with the cheapest price, even shop via Twitter—that it’s difficult to imagine what’s next for mobile. But Cisco has a few ideas.
The company estimates that the growth of 4G networks worldwide will boost speeds, with a 57% increase in Asia Pacific and a 41% increase in North America each year. These speed increases will likely boost video consumption—which made up 50% of mobile traffic last year—to two-thirds of all mobile traffic.
There is one aspect of mobile networks that needs to change if they are going to continue to grow and thrive: the price of data plans. The expense of having the entire internet in your pocket has already driven many consumers to only use their mobile devices in areas with WiFi, and if this continues, carriers like AT&T and Verizon may get left in the dust.