"Internet of Things" Expected to Drive Mobile Data Uptake

Just what effect will the internet of things have on mobile data?

The “internet of everything”, which is ‘machine to machine’ communications, is expected to contribute immensely to an increase in mobile data traffic forecast in Europe. Also, the supply chain management and manufacturing sectors across Europe, together with in-car communications that is taking shape, could end up contributing significantly to the growth of mobile data traffic that was machine led.

Various studies conducted recently indicate that most of the population in the continent is connected, which means more mobile data growth is expected from more devices and most likely, richer content would be consumed through those devices. One of the studies conducted in western European countries of Ireland, France, UK, Germany, Holland, Spain, Belgium and Italy has predicted the mobile data traffic to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 36% to 0.100 exabytes within the next three years. According to that study, the share contributed by machine-to-machine devices is expected to grow to 43%, second only to smartphones with 67% share, and well behind laptops with 27% share. If that study’s predictions come to pass, that would place Europe ahead of the world average for ‘machine to machine’ communications of 16.5%.

The growth in 4G devices and connectivity in UK and Scandinavian countries is expected to dramatically alter the landscape for mobile data consumption, with laptops and desktops being the main losers. The fast growing 4G smartphones data traffic is expected to reach 1 gigabyte per month this summer, compared with an average of 250 megabytes for 3G smartphones.

Research has shown that when users are shifting from laptops to smartphones, the consumption per device also significantly shifts. In the next three years, gaps in consumption between 4G smartphones, tablets and laptops are expected to stabilize and on average Europeans are expected to consume between 2.5 and 4.9 gigabytes of data monthly. The new tablets are predominantly 4G-based and the processer speeds of the chip have contributed largely to increased data usage, consumer acceptance, and the use of devices, which was sighted as the reason why Samsung Android devices command more than half of Europe’s market.

One of the main challenges I have experienced with the 4G devices is the problem with using high-res video file sharing and high-res video chat. For these advanced cloud-computing applications, most European countries lack the mobile speed and support to encourage their usage, and until they do, their use will be limited.