LTE networks are beginning to take off in Europe and T-Mobile USA will begin covering the U.S. with LTE later this fall. As a result, ABI Research believes that 4G LTE traffic will increase more than 200 percent this year alone.
The research firm found that there was 13,412 petabytes of mobile traffic in 2012, a figure that was 69 percent higher than the amount of mobile data recorded in 2011. With the increase in the speeds available to mobile subscribers, ABI Research doesn’t see the figure slowing down any time soon. “In developed markets, 4G is rapidly gaining traction. Verizon Wireless, for example, has reported that 50 percent of its data usage is on 4G LTE,” Marina Lu, research associate at ABI Research, said.
ABI Research said that applications are great for wireless carriers because they help customers consume more data, essentially creating more expensive wireless bills. Still, other applications such as WhatsApp and Skype allow for free VoIP calls and text messages.