U.S. mobile data traffic may exceed 1 exabyte by the end of 2010

As the third quarter of the year comes to an end, the demand for mobile data has only become more apparent. According to Chetan Sharma, an analyst who tracks the wireless data industry, the U.S. wireless-data market grew 25% in Q3 of 2010 compared to Q3 of 2009. The market gained 7% over Q2 of 2010 to total about $14 billion.

What do American carriers have to say, you might be wondering?

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse commented last month that by end of 2010, almost half of Sprint’s subscribers are going to be using smartphones, and therefore gobbling up data. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said that new, more powerful smartphones and faster networks are only going to push the wireless-data consumption, perhaps to gigabyte-a-month levels.

“By the end of 2010, we expect the average U.S. consumption to be approximately 325 MB/mo, up 112% from 2009,” Sharma predicts. According to estimates, “the total US mobile data traffic will exceed 1 Exabyte for the first time by the end of 2010.” Exabyte is a unit of information equal to 1000 petabytes or a billion gigabytes. Global Internet traffic was estimated to be over 21 exabytes in March 2010.

Take a look at some wireless data figures, courtesy of GigaOM:

Here are some wireless data highlights from the quarter:

In Q3 2010, 47 percent of the devices sold in the U.S. were smartphones, compared to 24 percent globally.

  • U.S. wireless data service revenues grew 7 percent Q/Q to $14B in Q310.
  • Verizon and AT&T accounted for 85 percent of the increase in data revenues in Q3 2010.
  • Per month data (blended) ARPU – Sprint $18.7 (estimated), Verizon $18.61, AT&T $17.35, T-Mobile – $12 (estimated), average $16.7
  • Nearly 21 percent of T-Mobile USA subscribers are on the smartphone.
  • Data now accounts for about 33 percent of total ARPU for carriers in the U.S.  Sharma predicts that in 2013, one should expect data and voice revenues to be roughly equal for the U.S. carriers.

[via gigaom]

» See more articles by Mikka Burrell


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  • http://bloggingfromandroid.wordpress.com/ Jake Rhodes

    With all of the percentage of use going up and not stopping anytime soon, I wonder we will soon start seeing a rise in monthly data fees for our internet use on our data services. It only makes sense that if the consumers (us), are buying more and more smart phones that use mobile data plans, wont the cell companies have to build or engineer ways for this to accommodate all the new users without service interruptions? And if so I see this as a big problem because of the fees that having a smartphone already carries , we will now have to worry about them going up on our rates. I am speaking as a T-mobile G2 user who has a great deal on my data plan, but yet I still cant see keeping my data plan if they up the price. Looks like I will be forced to go WIFI if the rates go up. what are the rest of you paying a month for your data plans on your phone, mine is US $30.00