The point of no return
December 2009 marked the time the volume of data traffic overtook that of voice on global mobile networks, announced network giant Ericsson at CTIA yesterday.
While this development has been anticipated for some time, it still marks a historic moment in the evolution of the mobile Internet - a bit like when notebook sales became greater than desktop ones.
"This is a significant milestone with some 400 million mobile broadband subscriptions now generating more data traffic than the voice traffic from the total 4.6 billion mobile subscriptions around the world," said Hans Vestberg, Ericsson president and CEO. "Our view that the appeal of anywhere, anytime connectivity would drive mobile broadband growth is confirmed by the real world measurements under taken by Ericsson."
Ericsson has found that data traffic almost quadrupled in each of the past two year and is forecast to double every year for the next five years. The crossover occurred at around 140,000 Terabytes per month in both voice and data traffic.
The biggest driver for all this seems to be social networking over mobile devices, with over 100 million active users alone accessing Facebook over their mobile devices. Mobile broadband use on PCs is the other biggie.
Here's a video clip from Ericsson summarising the news.