Every Australian will own an average of 2.4 mobile devices and enjoy a five-fold increase in mobile speed connection by 2015, according to networking giant Cisco.
The company’s Global Mobile Data Forecast for 2010 to 2015 reveals 56 million mobile devices will be connected in Australia by 2015, reaching a rate of approximately 2.4 per capita.
According to the report, the popularity of smart phones, laptops and tablets – and the associated mobile video consumption – will result in a compound annual growth rate of traffic of 92% within five years.
In Australia, Cisco predicts mobile traffic will increase 32-fold, higher than the global average of growth, which will see mobile data traffic increase 26-fold.
According to Kevin Bloch, Cisco chief technology officer for Australia and New Zealand, Australia’s mobile traffic growth is the result of a combination of factors.
Bloch says new technologies, such as higher broadband speed and more powerful smart phone platforms, enable customers to do more than make calls easily and at low prices.
“It’s a combination of things. One, the technology [and] two, the ease of use… and I think the costs will come down too,” he says.
Block says the use of mobile devices is changing dramatically, moving towards a more powerful, and almost essential, tool for the consumer.
By 2015, smart phones, laptops and other portable devices will drive more than 87% of global mobile traffic.
According to Bloch, the current characterisation of the traffic coming out of the mobile is dominated by video, stating this year will “cross the threshold” where most of data sent to mobile devices will be video content.
Bloch says Cisco’s predictions help to expose dominant technology and consumer trends, which is of value to telecommunication companies and other businesses.
“As many business models emerge with new forms of advertising, media and content partnerships, mobile services including M2M [and] live gaming, a mutually beneficial situation needs to be developed for service providers and over-the-top providers,” the report states.
“New partnerships, ecosystems, and strategic consolidations are expected as mobile operators, content providers, application developers, and others seek to monetise the video traffic that traverses mobile networks.”
“Operators must solve the challenge of effectively monetising video traffic while investing and increasing infrastructure capital expenditures.”
“They must become more agile and able to quickly change course and provide innovative services to engage the Web 3.0 consumer.”
Foad Fadaghi, research director of independent technology analysts Telsyte, says one way in which businesses can leverage the popularity of mobile devices is with the introduction of mobile payments.
“There might be an opportunity to provide an innovative way of making payments, which could attract people to your store. For example, if you own a coffee shop, customers might like the fact they can pick up [their coffee] and run,” he says.
“Services provided via your website could also be translated to a mobile application which users can download, and make purchases or communicate with your business.”