According to predictions by networking specialist Cisco Systems, around 10 per cent of mobile data traffic will take place on 4G networks by the year 2017.
In its annual mobile forecast, Cisco Systems estimated that 4G use will grow by around 9 per cent in the next four years. 4G currently makes up only 1 per cent of global connections, but this is expected to shoot up as more countries rollout 4G networks, invest in 4G systems and gain greater access to 4G phones, tablets and other devices.
Cisco also believes that over the next few years, there will be a noticeable rift between larger economies which have greater access to 4G-capable devices such as the iPhone 5 4G and were able to adopt 4G from the start, and those that were unable to invest in 4G until a later stage.
In its forecast, the networking corporation measured both the growth of 4G LTE networks, such as the one the UK is currently in the process of adopting, and WiMax, a high speed wireless internet solution to rival fibre optic broadband (but with the benefit of greater availability). As it is wireless and can use existing 3G infrastructure, WiMax may be able to support the growth of 4G deployment to a greater extent than cellular 4G solutions such as LTE in the next few years.
Cisco also had other predictions to make in its annual report, including the following:
- The Asia-Pacific region will generate 47 per cent of all mobile traffic in 2017
- Global mobile traffic will increase by around 66 per cent every year from now until 2017
- By 2017, global mobile traffic will reach 134 exabytes of data (the equivalent of 3 trillion video clips)
There will also be around 3 billion more mobile devices by 2017, along with 1 billion more people using mobile networks