U.S. mobile data traffic will exceed 1 exabyte before the end of 2010, according to Chetan Sharma, an analyst specializing in the wireless data industry.
This will be the result of a huge increase in average U.S. mobile data consumption in the past year.
“By the end of 2010, we expect the average U.S. consumption to be approximately 325 MB/month, up 112% from 2009,” Sharma claims in his U.S. wireless market report for the third quarter of 2009.
An exabyte is 1 billion gigabytes (or 1 million terabytes). In comparison, Cisco approximated global IP traffic at 15 exabytes per month in 2009, predicting that 767 exabytes of data will be transferred online in 2014.
The Rise of Super phones
The increase in mobile search data consumption is due to the rise of “connected devices” such as tablets and super-phones — a label that’s sometimes used for high-end smart-phones. “There are some super-phones that are routinely average more than 1 GB/month, super-phones as a category is averaging 700-800 MB/month,” Sharma claims.
According to Sharma’s report, nearly half of the devices sold in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2010 were smart-phones. “In Q3 2010, 47% of the devices sold in the U.S. were smart-phones compared to 24% globally,” the report says.
Other Stats of Interest
* The U.S. wireless data service revenues grew 7% Q/Q to $14 billion in Q3 2010. The mobile data revenues for the U.S. market are likely to reach $55 billion in 2010.
* AT&T and Verizon now account for 70% of the market data services revenues and 62% of the subscription base.
* The national prepaid penetration is touching 20%.
* Nokia sold 110.4 million units in Q3 2010 amounting for 32% of the market share; Samsung shipped 71.4 million units for a 21% share of the market. Apple shipped 9.1 million iPhones in Q3, edging past RIM into the top 5 mobile vendors.Chetan Sharman