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Key findings

  • Data traffic grew 65% between Q3 2016 and Q3 2017

Mobile data traffic1 continues to grow. This is driven by increasing smartphone subscriptions and increasing average data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by more viewing of video content.

The graph below shows total global monthly data and voice traffic from Q3 2012 to Q3 2017, along with the year-on-year percentage change for mobile data traffic.

This curve illustrates a typical moderating growth rate as the market has evolved over time, which has been disrupted on a couple of occasions. In 2015, the growth rate was influenced by zero-rated video offers in North America. In 2016, introductory free data traffic offers in India pushed up the global traffic noticeably.

In Q3 2017, data traffic grew around 10 percent quarter-on-quarter and around 65 percent year-on-year. However, there are large differences in traffic levels between markets, regions and operators.

Data traffic grew 65% between Q3 2016 and Q3 2017

Voice, data, year-on-year growth

1 Traffic does not include DVB-H, Wi-Fi, or Mobile WiMAX. VoIP is included in data traffic