In the last five years mobile data has grown significantly and now generates just under 700 petabytes per month.
According to internet firm Akamai, there is now four times as much data as voice traffic on mobile networks.
In the first quarter of 2012, Akamai found that the majority of mobile operators had average data connection speeds greater than 1Mbps. Only three providers had average connection speeds below 500Kbps.
The data growth is driving operators to upgrade mobile network infrastructure. In particular, when 4G mobile networking is deployed it will dramatically increase bandwidth, giving operators more headroom on their networks, to support future data growth. Regulator Ofcom is expected to start the 4G spectrum auction process by the end of the year.
European countries dominated Akamai’s first quarter 2012 ranking for broadband speeds; with The Netherlands ranked at five, followed by Switzerland, Belgium, Finland and Denmark in the next four positions. Switzerland, Finland and Denmark more than doubled adoption levels year-over-year, highlighting the continuing progress of high-speed connectivity in Northern Europe.
In terms of unique IP addresses connecting to the Akamai platform during the quarter, the UK achieved year-on-year growth of 17% compared to the first quarter of 2011.
Akamai is using its existing content delivery cloud platform to provide both live and on-demand videos for viewers who, in addition to TV coverage of the Olympics, are expected to seek content via their mobiles, tablets and laptops.