10 Fascinating Facts About Mobile Data Usage

Worldwide mobile traffic is growing fast, and companies are quickly expanding their networks to keep up with the trends.

Mar 29, 2014 at 12:30PM

Keeping up with the latest mobile trends can be a daunting task for tech investors. But there are a few major patterns that can be gleaned from global data that can be applied to future investing decisions. Last month Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) released a Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast report, which offers some great insights into wireless trends and how companies can stay ahead of the curve.

1. Total worldwide mobile traffic reached 1.5 exabytes per month last year, or about 1.5 billion gigabytes. That's an increase of about 81% from 2012.

2. Mobile is growing at a ridiculous pace. The total amount of mobile data traffic last year was almost 18 times higher than all global Internet traffic in 2000. 

3. Video dominates worldwide mobile traffic -- taking up 53%.

Mobile Internet
Source: FoolEditorial.

4. Though 4G connections account for less than 3% of mobile connections, they generate 30% of all mobile data traffic.

5. Last year mobile network connection speeds more than doubled, from a global average of 526 kilobits per second in 2012 to 1,387 Kbps in 2013.

6. The average amount of personal data usage per month increased about 50% from 2012 to 2013.

7. Smartphones make up just 27% of global handsets, but account for 95% of global handset traffic.

8. In 2013, 45% of mobile traffic was offloaded to Wi-Fi networks. Without offloading, mobile traffic would have grown 98%, instead of 81%, for the year.

Mobile Internet
Source: FoolEditorial.

9. Smartphones generate about 48 times more mobile data traffic than a basic cell phone. 

10. Tablets generate 2.6 times more traffic than the average smartphone.

What to make of the data
The increased mobile usage trends are only growing. By 2018, 4G will make up 15% of device connections, but will account for 51% of traffic.

Mobile Internet
 Source: Cisco.

These trends are one of the reasons why the No. 3 US carrier, T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) is upgrading all of its 2G network to LTE by 2015, and why AT&T (NYSE:T) spent $15.9 million last year on lobbying issues like wireless spectrum. Even as the US has one of the most expansive 4G networks, wireless carriers know more data usage is on its way.

Not to be outdone, China has begun a massive rollout of 4G connectivity, with China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) leading the way. The company was the first Chinese carrier to introduce 4G back in December, and has currently built more network base stations than exist in all of Europe . 

Investors looking for carriers that are on the cutting edge need to consider how quickly the companies are building out their networks, and how much capacity they can handle. Even with some future mobile traffic being offloaded onto to Wi-Fi networks, the big winners will still be the carriers that can handle massive amounts of data for the most users. 

Are you ready for this $14.4 trillion revolution?
Let's face it, every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big. Like buying PC-maker Dell in the late 1980s, before the consumer computing boom. Or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer Amazon.com in the late 1990s, when it was nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure-play" and then watch as it grows in EXPLOSIVE lockstep with its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 TRILLION industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Fool contributor Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems. The Motley Fool owns shares of China Mobile. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information