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Mobile and IoT devices on track to top 12 billion by 2022

Mobile technologies continue to connect more people and things than ever. In 2017, there were five billion mobile users worldwide, but over the next five years that number will increase by half a billion to 5.5 billion users, according to a new report from networking technology provider Cisco.

That represents about 71 percent of the global population, the report said.

By 2022, there will be more than 12 billion mobile-ready devices and Internet of Things (IoT) connections, up from about nine billion mobile-ready devices and IoT connections in 2017. And by that same year, mobile traffic will represent nearly 20 percent of global IP traffic and will reach 930 exabytes annually. That’s nearly 113 times more than all global mobile traffic generated just 10 years prior, the report said.

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An attendee holds a yellow Nokia 8110 4G smartphone, manufactured by HMD Global Oy, during a launch event ahead of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. At the wireless industry’s biggest conference, more than 100,000 people are set to see the latest smartphones, artificial intelligence devices and autonomous drones exhibited by roughly 2,300 companies. Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

The study, which relies on independent analyst forecasts and real-world network usage data, examines ongoing efforts by mobile carriers around the world to enhance mobile network performance. The average global mobile network speeds will increase more than three-fold from 8.7 Mbps in 2017 to 28.5 Mbps by 2022.

That year, 5G connections will represent more than three percent of total mobile connections (more than 422 million global 5G devices) and will account for nearly 12 percent of global mobile data traffic. The average 5G connection will generate about three times more traffic than the average 4G connection, Cisco said.

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