Mobile data traffic continues to soar

|By:, SA News Editor

Mobile analyst Chetan Sharma estimates the average U.S. mobile user has consumed 1.2GB/month of data this year, up 74% from a 2012 level of 690MB. Meanwhile, average global mobile data consumption is pegged at 240MB, up 71% from a 2012 level of 140MB.

Sharma also observes data consumption is considerably higher among certain demographics: Swedish mobile broadband subs consume over 7GB/month, and some U.S. Android devices consume over 4GB/month.

Contributing factors: Surging smartphone penetration rates, rapid 4G and (in emerging markets) 3G adoption, growing sales of large-screen smartphones, and the popularity of mobile video services (especially YouTube).

AT&T recently mentioned it's still seeing 50% Y/Y growth in data consumption per smartphone user.

The U.S. has a major lead on many foreign markets in both smartphone and 4G penetration. Thus, the data consumption growth seen in the U.S., along with the capacity crunches and network investments it has spawned, could be a sign of things to come overseas.

Companies that derive a large percentage of their sales from mobile infrastructure and/or carrier Wi-Fi spending: ALU, NOK, ERIC, ALLT, PKT, RKUS, UBNT, DRWI, CRNT.