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Video Will Be 78% of Mobile Data Traffic by 2021, Says Cisco

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By 2021, video will make up 78 percent of all global mobile data traffic, finds Cisco in its just-released Mobile Visual Networking Index for 2017. That compares to 60 percent of mobile traffic in 2016. Live video will grow at an even faster rate: In 2016 live video used 0.1 Exabytes of mobile data per month; that will grow to 2.0 Exabytes per month in 2021.

In 2021, the world will have 5.5 billion mobile device users (compared to 4.9 billion in 2016), and mobile speeds of 20.4 Mbps (compared to 6.8 Mbps). In 2021, there will be 1.5 mobile devices in use for every person on earth. More people will have a mobile device than will have running water (5.3 billion).

Breaking down the video numbers, Cisco finds video will make up 77 percent of mobile data traffic in North America by 2021. The percents are slightly higher in Western Europe (80 percent) and Latin America (79 percent).

The report sees huge growth coming from virtual reality headsets, which it predicts will increase five-fold from 2016 to 2021, from 18 million devices in use to 100 million devices. By 2021, 51 percent of those devices will be connected to phones compared to 87 percent of the VR headsets used in 2016. 

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