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WiFi to the Rescue as Mobile Usage Surges

Posted Feb 16, 2016

It’s no surprise that mobile usage has been increasing year over year. In fact, a recent Cisco Visual Networking Index report found that usage grew 75% in 2015 and will increase eightfold over the next 5 years.

AdColony Chart - Monthly Mobile Usage through 2020

Based on these projections, mobile data usage will grow 67.6% in 2016 and will experience a 53% CAGR through 2020. So what is facilitating the rapid growth in mobile data usage? The answer appears to lie in the reemergence of unlimited data plans.

Although only 8% of mobile users currently have an unlimited data plan, this group accounts for 18% of total mobile usage as they consume 2.55 times as much data each month as users on traditional tiered (limited) plans.

As providers increasingly feel the pressure to offer non-tiered packages, expect the share of unlimited plans to grow in coming years, and for total data usage to skyrocket accordingly.

AdColony - Mobile Usage by Plan Type

With usage growing this quickly, data providers may soon find that their 2G, 3G, and 4G networks are simply too over-taxed to carry the load. To alleviate these tensions, Cisco projects that sizable portions of mobile traffic will be offloaded to WiFi connections by 2019, as depicted below.

AdColony - Mobile Usage by Network Type

The Mobile Publisher Impact
So, what does all of this mean for mobile app publishers? While it may be tempting to stream even more content to keep app sizes down, it’s critical to remember that every MB counts for the majority of mobile users. As such, minimizing SDK bloat and optimizing streamed content solutions remain an important consideration…at least for now.
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