Could Mobile Explosion Cause Data Costs to Skyrocket?
People are using their phones more and more, that’s no secret. But a recent study figured out just how much, and it’s astounding — and potentially worrisome to executives who have to manage mobile costs.
The latest bit of evidence comes from a market forecast released by researchers at Informa Telecoms & Media. According to their projections, mobile data consumption rates are on track to grow tenfold between 2011 and 2016. This spike will manifest itself with smartphone users consuming 6.5 times as much video, more than eight times the amount of music and social media and approximately 10 times as many games.
Additionally, Informa analysts expect the average mobile user to browse six times as many web pages and download 14 times as many megabytes of application data in 2016.
This will all be framed by a 23 percent increase in the mobile population.
“The top three data guzzlers on mobile phones over the next five years will be applications, video streaming, and web browsing — in that order of importance,” Informa senior analyst Guillermo Escofet explained. “Yet the top revenue earners in 2016 will be web browsing first, followed by [text messaging] and applications. Video streaming will represent less than 1 percent of mobile data revenue in 2016, despite hogging a third of handset traffic.”
While it remains to be seen how telecom operators will respond to these changes, enterprise IT managers should be carefully studying how they are shaping their mobility budgets.
With employees relying more heavily on their devices for business-critical processes, companies can’t avoid embracing mobility. But there is no free lunch when it comes to surfing the Web, pulling data from apps and streaming videos. And if companies can’t keep their data consumption rates within their given allotment, it can be much more difficult to control corporate wireless spending.
The need for proactive and strategic mobility management has become nearly essential. IT will need to follow suit to ensure not only cost-efficiency, but compliance and security as well.
Mobile users are no longer viewing their devices as simple communication tools, but rather as comprehensive commercial facilitators. According to the latest research from location-based marketing specialist Placecast, approximately four in 10 American adults now classify payment processing as an important utility for their mobile devices. As sensitive financial data moves to mobile phones, smartphone management becomes a business priority rather than an IT consideration.