AT&T (NYSE:T) plans to upgrade its data networks something fierce, but those plans will take some time. Meanwhile, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone users will continue to burden the carrier's network -- and they're darn good at it, too.

A recent report commissioned by Consumer Reports shows that the average iPhone consumer pulls down a hefty 273 megabytes of data over the air every month. That's more than five times the bandwidth thirst shown by Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry users, and about twice the data usage of other smartphone brands like the Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Mobile or Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platforms.

Mind you, some BlackBerry and Android users surely use a lot more bandwidth than that, because some of those models are "tethered" to laptops by business-class users and used as mobile broadband modems. That class of user was not included in the Consumer Reports study.

The smartphone trend is still in its infancy, kind of like how cell phones in general looked 10 years ago. The future of mobile phones lies in hyperconnected and supercapable handsets that make web browsing on the go both easy and fast. Increased online traffic is great news for companies who benefit from increased data traffic, including Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO).

Just how much growth should we expect from mobile data? According to a Cisco report issued this week, mobile data usage increased 160% over the past year, and will increase 39 times between 2009 and 2014. That growth rate is 2.4 times faster than the fixed broadband lines that Google already bemoans as too slow. As much as carriers tout the speed of their new 4G networks, consumers should still rapidly burden the next generation of high-speed data towers. 

Moreover, regardless of whoever built the phone transmitting the data, Google loves every chance it gets to grab a few extra eyeballs and ad clicks. It's a brave new world full of very capable mobile devices, and you know what that means: Google wins. The more avenues people have for searching, the more the company’s monstrous search presence grows.

Did I miss anything? Discuss the future of mobile computing and communications in the comments below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google and Akamai, because he believes in this hyper-connected future. He holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Akamai Technologies and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.