Mobile data usage is skyrocketing thanks to video content

Thanks YouTube

We really are in the post-PC era. Mobile data traffic has increased 59% this year to 52 million terabytes (TB), according to a Gartner report.

By 2018, the amount of mobile data used annually is expected to more than triple to 173 million TB. The majority of data will be consumed by people watching videos.

Today, 50% of all mobile data is sacrificed for video. That percentage will increase to 60% over the next three years.

Big bucks for service providers

Just two years ago, only 19 million TB of data was consumed on mobile devices. At that time, there were 5.6 billion mobile connections in the world. Today, there are 7.4 billion.

Mobile data revenue will eclipse $552 billion in 2015. The increase in volume is due in large part to four factors, the addition of mobile connections, higher speed mobile networks, increased smartphone adoption, and a rise in data-consuming content and applications.

Unfortunately for service providers, the smartphone market’s expansion is decreasing, as recent projections anticipate that a weakening global economy and a saturated marketplace will limit the number of new devices purchased in the coming years.

Despite shrunken estimates, consultancies like TrendForce still expect the market to increase 8.2% in 2015 and to continue upward indefinitely, albeit at a slower rate. Gartner expects only a 3% increase.

But that still leaves tablets and Ultrabook laptops, a segment that Gartner expects to grow 4.3% in 2014. So look for manufacturers to create innovative experiences for consumers who might be willing to use a tablet and a smartphone in tandem.