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Mobile traffic Q3 2018

Increased mobile data traffic in North East Asia drives the global year-on-year growth rate to 79 percent.


Key findings

  • Increased mobile data traffic in North East Asia has pushed the global year-on-year growth rate to 79 percent.
  • Traffic growth is driven by the rising number of smartphone subscriptions and an increasing average of data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by more viewing of video content.
  • The quarter-on-quarter growth was around 17 percent.

Traffic1 growth is driven by both the rising number of smartphone subscriptions and an 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 Q2 2013 to Q3 2018, along with the year-on-year percentage change for mobile data traffic.

In Q3 2018, mobile data traffic grew close to 79 percent year-on-year, which is the highest growth rate since 2013. The increased mobile data traffic per smartphone in North East Asia this year, mainly in China, has pushed up the global traffic significantly. The global traffic growth rate has been influenced by individual regions before, for example by North America in 2015 and by India in 2016.

The quarter-on-quarter growth was around 17 percent.

Circuit-switched voice, data, year-on-year growth

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