Last year Cisco reported that just 1 per cent of the mobile data subscribers generated 35 per cent of mobile data traffic, this year the figure is nearer 1 per cent generating 24 per cent of traffic, close to the 1:20 ratio commonly accepted as normal in the fixed network world.

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update shows just how connected the world is becoming and how much of an impact mobile data devices are having on our lives. Global mobile data traffic grew 2.3 fold in 2011 – the fourth year in a row it had more than doubled, and it still continues to beat projected growth.

More an more are conncecting on the move and with iPad and Android tablets a big seller over the Christmas period that is expected to continue to rise. In fact the report suggests that by the end of 2012 the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the population of the earth!

It really is a global business. Mobile video is pushing the trend too. Already accounting for 50 per cent of data traffic in terms of byte size, that figure is expected to reach 70% by 2016.

With over 100 million smartphone users worldwide expected to be using over 1GB per month by the end of 2012, mobile phone companies may need to become more competitive in terms of data charges if they are to remain appealing to ever data-hungry customers.

Dual-mode devices that link automatically to fixed networks are expected to take some of that traffic as public WiFi coverage improves but probably not before many users find themselves hit with a big ‘overage’ bills.