5.5bn people predicted to use mobile phones by 2021

Cisco predicts that mobile is going dominate the future of the Internet. By 2021, more people will be using mobile phones than bank accounts (5.4 billion), running water (5.3 bn), or landilines (2.9 bn).


According to the Mobile Visual Networking Index for 2017 from Cisco, there will be 5.5 bn mobile phones by 2021, compared to 4.9 billion in 2016. Mobile data traffic is forecast to increase sevenfold and represent 20 percent of total IP traffic, compared to 8 percent of total IP traffic in 2016.

Cisco predicts that in 4 years there will be 1.5 mobile devices per capita in the world (up from 1.1 per capita in 2016))and almost 12 billion mobile-connected devices (up from 8 bn in 2016). Moreover, mobile network connection speed is forecast to rise threefold from 6.8 Mbps in 2016 to 20.4 Mbps by 2021.

There will also be a great rise in the global use of mobile video, which will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic, compared to 60% in 2016. Live mobile video is predicted to increase 39-fold.

Machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will account for 29 percent (3.3 billion) of total mobile connections (rise from 5 percent in 2016). M2M will be the fastest developing mobile connection type as global Internet of Things (IoT) applications continue grow in consumer and business environments.

4G is going to support 58 percent of all mobile connections by 2021 (up from 26 percent in 2016) and will account for 79 percent of total mobile data traffic.

The global number of smartphones (including phablets) in 2021 will be over 50 percent of global devices and connections (6.2 billion) — up from 3.6 billion in 2016.

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