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RCRWireless.com: “U.S. on track to pass an exabyte of mobile data traffic in 2010”

December 24, 2010

A glimpse of the future …
What’s an “exabyte”?  One billion gigabytes!  Uh – 1,000,000,000GB.  That’s a little bit larger than my desktop’s 500GB harddrive.

The key quotes:

  • current global Internet traffic is thought to exceed 21 exabytes
  • “U.S. mobile data is still unstoppably on the rise”
  • “average U.S. consumption to be approximately 325 MB/mo, up 112% from 2009” – Besides the shockingly humongous increase, did you note that the average usage is higher than the rinky-dink starter data plans that AT&T (200MB for $15) and Verizon (150MB for $15) offer?

Red highlights are mine.
JC

http://www.rcrwireless.com/article/20101108/CARRIERS/101109950/1097/us-on-track-to-pass-an-exabyte-of-mobile-data-traffic-in-2010

U.S. on track to pass an exabyte of mobile data traffic in 2010
November 8 2010 – 12:07 pm ET | Sylvie Barak | RCR Wireless News

Despite the tiered pricing, the throttling and the choking, U.S. mobile data is still unstoppably on the rise, with analysts now predicting total U.S. mobile data traffic will exceed 1 exabyte for the first time by the end of 2010.

Wireless-data analyst Chetan Sharma reckons the mobile data market already hockey-sticked by around 25% in the third quarter of this year compared with the same quarter of last year and was up 7% from the second quarter.

That brings the mobile data industry up to a whopping $54 billion for the year ($14 billion in Q3 alone), a fact that can be attributed to the rapid and increasing demand for new and shiny smart phones.

“By the end of 2010, we expect the average U.S. consumption to be approximately 325 MB/mo, up 112% from 2009,” wrote Sharma, who also elaborated on the exact definition of an exabyte – a unit of information equal to 1,000 petabytes or 1 billion gigabytes.

While that might sound ginormous, bear in mind that current global Internet traffic is thought to exceed 21 exabytes.

When the first iPhone came to market in 2007, wireless data was worth about $25 billion to carriers, which means revenues have more than doubled in just three years. Data average revenue per user has also doubled, now standing at around $16.70 a month, up from about $8 three years back. Indeed, mobile data now accounts for around 33% of total ARPU for carriers in the United States and Sharma says it’s realistic to expect data and voice revenues to be roughly equal by 2013.

Connected devices like tablets are also having a significant impact on data traffic, with Sharma reporting “the connected devices category will generate more revenue for the operators than the entire prepaid segment in the U.S.” That’s no small potatoes.

Reportedly, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility managed to account for no less than 85% of all U.S. data revenue increases in the third quarter. AT&T and Verizon now also account for 70% of the market data services revenues and 62% of the subscription base, according to Sharma.

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