Will you be ready for the mobile data flood?

The mobile revolution has changed how people live and how businesses operate. In the latter case, enterprises now have the ability to transmit, collect and analyze more data than ever, with much of this generated by billions of smartphones and tablets used around the world.

While it’s tempting to conclude that we’ve entered the full-fledged mobile era, the truth is it’s actually just beginning, at least according to a new forecast by Cisco Systems.

Check out just two of the predictions in the Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013-2018, from the Cisco Visual Networking Index:

  • Global mobile data traffic will increase nearly 11-fold between 2013 and 2018 to reach 15.9 exabytes per month.
  • There will be more than 10 billion mobile-connected devices by 2018, including machine-to-machine modules (the Internet of Things)

Remember, all this data has to be handled by mobile carriers, all of whom are scrambling to build out networks that can handled the anticipated data load. The problem is, even at current data loads carriers are having difficulty satisfying consumers. In a recent Computerworld survey, respondents were asked how happy they were with service from their mobile data providers. Only two-thirds (67%) indicated they were “satisfied” with their mobile connection, while fewer (61%) said they were satisfied with the reliability of their connections.
That’s under the current data load. What happens when carriers can’t handle the mobile data flood? And how about enterprises? How many of them will be prepared for an 11-fold increase in mobile traffic in the next four years? Do you think mobile technology can keep pace with mobile data?

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