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Mobile data growth down to 60% from 5,000%
Written by Dave Burstein   
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 03:08

Glen Campbell at Merrill using data from the carriers calculates the U.S. average mobile data usage in the second half of 2009 was 58 megabytes, up from 45 megabytes at the middle of the year. That's a 29% increase in six months, an annual rate of 60% and I believe almost surely falling. 60% and anything close to 60% is of course substantial growth that needs to be planned for, although not out of line with the 1,000% five year increase in capacity some predict. 

    It's time to retire comments like "AT&T’s data traffic has grown by 5000%." Especially since AT&T, when a reporter asks, refuses to explain how they measure or even what period of time they are discussing. Lobbyist's figures, unverifiable, are often misleading. They should never be used in policy making without independent confirmation. We need improved spectrum policy, of course, but accurate data is essential to develop it.  

    Merrill also predicts "per capita mobile data traffic in North America and Europe would grow to 600-700MB/month by 2015. ... it could be handled without a surge in investment.

... the reported traffic level for 2H09 is consistent with average usage levels of about 100MB/month for smartphones, and 1GB/month for data cards, implying that smartphones and data cards are responsible for about 25% and 75% of total traffic, respectively." For the record, I posted most of the above as a comment on an FCC Blogband article.