Global Mobile Data Forecast

Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast (2024 to 2030)

Published on: April 25, 2023
Last Updated: April 25, 2023

Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast (2024 to 2030)

Published on: April 25, 2023
Last Updated: April 25, 2023

People are increasingly becoming reliant on their mobile data worldwide.

It is convenient and can be used from anywhere while searching for routes, restaurants with five star ratings, communicating with friends while on the road, and listening to music while stuck in traffic. 

Mobile data is essential.

Let’s talk about the global mobile data traffic forecast to see where this trend goes in the next couple of years. 

Key Statistics 

  • Global mobile data traffic hit 77.49 exabytes per month in 2022
  • Mobile data traffic is expected to hit 325 exabytes per month by 2028
  • 5G is set to take the global mobile data traffic by storm in 2028
  • Video traffic will account to the majority of mobile data traffic
  • Global monthly data usage will average 19GB per user in 2023
  • 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile data will remain the main source of global mobile data traffic in 2023
  • AT&T is the biggest telecom company by revenue in the world
  • Mobile satellite service market will hit $10.4 billion in 2032
  • Subscribers of direct satellite-to-device market will hit 390 million in 2030


Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast 2024 to 2030

1. Global Mobile Data Traffic Hit 77.49 Exabytes per Month in 2022

Mobile Data

With the increasing penetration of the internet in less developed countries and continuous digitization of companies, global mobile traffic climbed to its highest yet in 2022. 

Around 77.49 exabytes of data have been used every month in 2022, up from 56.8 exabytes in 2021. 

  • 2017 – global mobile data traffic is at 11.51 exabytes monthly during the year
  • 2018 – global mobile data traffic is at 19.01 exabytes monthly during the year
  • 2019 – global mobile data traffic is at 28.56 exabytes monthly during the year
  • 2020 – global mobile data traffic is at 40.77 exabytes monthly during the year
  • 2021 – global mobile data traffic is at 56.8 exabytes monthly during the year
  • 2022 – global mobile data traffic is at 77.49 exabytes monthly during the year

(Statista)

2. Mobile Data Traffic Is Expected to Hit 325 Exabytes per Month by 2028

Mobile data traffic is forecasted to hit 90 exabytes per month this year.

The positive momentum will carry on, with a compounding annual growth rate of 4%.

By 2028, we expect to see 325 exabytes of monthly data traffic during the year.

Including the FWA or Fixed Wireless Access channels namely 4G LTE and 5G, mobile data is forecasted to up to 453 exabytes per month during the year.

(Ericsson)

3. 5G Is Set to Take the Global Mobile Data Traffic by Storm in 2028

As of this writing, the majority of global mobile data users still rely on 3G and 4G networks.

It will not be long before this changes. 

Studies show that by 2028, all growth in mobile data traffic will come from 5G.

The network is forecasted to take 69% of the entire market during the year. 

(Ericsson)

4. Video Traffic Will Account to The Majority of Mobile Data Traffic 

Video traffic currently accounts for 70% of global mobile data traffic today.

This is forecasted to grow further to 80% by 2028. 

(Ericsson)

5. Global Monthly Data Usage Will Average 19 Gb per User in 2023

The global monthly data usage is forecasted to come at 19 GB per user this year.

The numbers are much higher in some countries such as those in the Gulf region where the average monthly data usage per person will hit 25 GB. 

Meanwhile, there remains a wide disparity between levels of development as Sub-Saharan Africa averages only 4.6 GB per smartphone during the same period. 

(Gulf Cooperation Council)

6. The United States Is Set to Record an Average Monthly Data Usage of 55 GB in 2028

As a leader of development, the United States is forecasted to hit an average monthly data usage of 55 GB per smartphone in the next five years.

This is higher than the global average of 46 GB expected during the year. 

(Ericsson)

7. 2G, 3G, and 4G Mobile Data Will Remain the Main Source of Global Mobile Data Traffic in 2023

Studies show 2G, 3G, and 4G will remain the main source of mobile data globally this year.

Together, they will account for 84.5 exabytes of the 148.9 exabytes among all data sources combined around the globe. 

Meanwhile, FWA including 3G, 4G, and 5G are expected to account for 33.4 exabytes of data this year, while 5G will be at 31.0 exabytes. 

(Ericsson)

8. But 5G Will Take Over on 2026

While 2G, 3G, and 4G have remained the most popular data sources over the years until today, studies from ericsson.com shows 5G will start taking over in 2026. 

Mobile data traffic from 5G network is forecasted to hit 117.5 exabytes during the year, higher than the 2G, 3G, and 4G combined which will be at 110.3 in 2026. 

(Ericsson)

9. AT&T is The Biggest Telecom Company by Revenue in The World

American telecommunications company AT&T Inc headquartered in Dallas, Texas, leads the telecom industry in terms of revenue. 

The company reported an annual revenue of $163.72 billion during its latest earnings call, with a net income of $20.04 billion. 

Here are the other companies that made the list and their respective financial standings:

  • Verizon Communications Inc – the company reported an annual revenue of $135.65 billion and a net income of $19.29 billion
  • Deutsche Telekom AG – the company reported an annual revenue of $124.19 billion and a net income of $8.11 billion
  • Comcast Corp – the company reported an annual revenue of $121.21 billion and a net income of $5.40 billion
  • Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp – the company reported an annual revenue of $101.51 billion and a net income of $15.07 billion

(Investopedia)

10. Mobile Satellite Service Market Will Hit $10.4 Billion in 2032

Satellite services is a growing industry expected to record a compounding annual growth rate of 6.4% from 2022 to 2032. 

The industry will be valued at $10.4 billion by 2032, double from its $5.2 billion value in 2021.

Some of the key players in the industry include Echostar Corporation, Ericsson AB, Global Star, Inmarsat Inc, and Intelstat S.A.

Satellite services will enhance 5G networks with the use of advanced, next generation devices that will make data accessible to more users. 

(factmr.com)

11. Subscribers of Direct Satellite-To-Device Market Will Hit 390 Million in 2030

Mobile Data

The number of direct satellite-to-device subscribers is currently low. But this industry is forecasted to boom and hit 390 million subscribers by 2030. 

Take a look at this data detailing the growth trajectory of this market from 2023 to 2030. 

  • 2023 – subscribers in the direct satellite-to-device service is forecasted to hit 25 million during the year
  • 2024 – subscribers in the direct satellite-to-device service is forecasted to hit 70 million during the year
  • 2025 – subscribers in the direct satellite-to-device service is forecasted to hit 110 million during the year
  • 2026 – subscribers in the direct satellite-to-device service is forecasted to hit 170 million during the year
  • 2027 – subscribers in the direct satellite-to-device service is forecasted to hit 220 million during the year
  • 2028 – subscribers in the direct satellite-to-device service is forecasted to hit 280 million during the year
  • 2029 – subscribers in the direct satellite-to-device service is forecasted to hit 330 million during the year
  • 2030 – subscribers in the direct satellite-to-device service is forecasted to hit 390 million during the year

Conclusion

Mobile data is ubiquitous. Global mobile data traffic hit more than 77 exabytes per month in 2022 as the world increased attention towards digitization.

Satellite services are forecasted to take the world by a storm.

By 2030, this service will have 390 million users globally and its upward trajectory will maintain in the years after. 

Thanks for reading this article on the global mobile data traffic forecast. 

Sources

StatistaEricssonInvestopedia
FactmrWorld Population ReviewCable
Visual CapitalistResearch GateStatista

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Written by Kelly Indah

I’m a statistics researcher here at EarthWeb with a special interest in privacy, tech, diversity, equality and human rights. I have a master’s degree in Computer Science and I have my Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.