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The Digital Revolution

By: Rob Chamberlin

The digital revolution is changing how we do business, requiring a new class of mobile data services that meet today’s business needs.

Introduction

In just a few years there will be over 20 billion networked devices around the world. At least half of these will be mobile-connected, producing more than 24 exabytes of mobile data traffic each month. These eye-popping statistics that help illustrate today’s wireless device revolution, and how it is changing both mobile subscriber habits and the network services they rely on.

As more devices become connected to the mobile internet, businesses must constantly be looking for cutting edge mobile data services to help them navigate a world of “always-on” connectivity. Companies need service providers that offer increased network capacity and capabilities for digital transformation, better bandwidth management to meet growing mobile data demands, and enterprise-grade Quality of Service (QoS) to shoulder mission-critical mobile applications.

The challenge is finding mobile data services that answer these needs. In the United States, the wireless market is rapidly changing, as carriers shift their service offerings toward consumers and end the device subsidies that have long fueled their subscriber growth. Traditional mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) continue to offer consumer-centric plans with few advanced services.

There are, however, a new class of mobile data services hitting the market that cater to the unique needs of mid-market and enterprise companies. These services are multi-carrier, so network capacity and coverage are never an issue. They are well supported with enterprise expertise and with management and reporting tools. And they are built from the ground up to handle the gigabytes, not megabytes, of mobile data that business users are increasingly using.


The Mobile Device Revolution

Connected devices have come a long way. Smart phones and other wireless devices – including tablets and handheld computers – have become crucial business tools. For example, retailers use tablets and handhelds for point-of-sale and inventory tracking on the sales floor, and in warehouses and distribution centers, manufacturers use tablets and handhelds on the factory floor. Mobile devices such as tablets and ruggedized laptops are in the hands of most field salespeople and support technicians for many companies based in the US.

All of these devices are networked and many are mobile-connected. In fact, according to the Cisco’s VNI Global IP Traffic Forecast, 2014-2019, within three years there will be 24.4 billion network devices across the globe, and nearly half, or 47 percent, will be mobile connected. Obviously, these mobile connected devices are driving massive increases in mobile data traffic. It’s estimated that mobile data traffic will grow tenfold between 2014 to 2019, representing a compound annual growth rate of 57 percent, according to Cisco’s report. By 2019, mobile data traffic will reach 24.3 Exabytes per month, up from 2.5 Exabytes per month in 2014. As a point of reference, one Exabyte equals 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes (and 5 Exabytes has been characterized as all the words ever spoken by human beings). Cisco’s report also estimates that global mobile data traffic will grow three times faster than global fixed IP traffic during the same time period, and while global mobile data was just 4 percent of total IP traffic in 2014, it will increase to 14 percent of total IP traffic in 2019.



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