New wireless standard will only account for about 12% of total cellular traffic in three years

For all the hype surrounding 5G, the new mobile technology standard’s proliferation across the globe won’t unfurl lightening quick.

Cisco’s Mobile Visual Network Index (VNI) predicts that in three years, only about 3% of total mobile connections will occur over 5G networks. And connections, both to 5G device users and machine-to-machine systems, will account for only about 12% of global mobile data traffic.

Certainly, the amount of mobile traffic has steeply increased. Cisco predicts that by 2022, mobile usage will account for nearly 20% of global IP traffic, reaching 930 exabytes annually. That’s up nearly 113 times over mobile traffic generated in 2012.

Other predictions include increased usage of low-power, wide-area networks (LPWA), which supported only around 1.5% of mobile devices and M2M connections in 2017, but will grow to 14% by 2022.

By 2022, Cisco said that 4G networks will support about 54% of mobile connections worldwide.

Cisco, meanwhile, forecasts modest increases of mobile traffic to Wi-Fi: In 2017, 54% of mobile data traffic was offloaded; but by 2022, 59% of global mobile data traffic will be offloaded to Wi-Fi. 

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