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More mobiles than people? It’s a scary thought that may well come true

Mobile phones may soon outnumber the world's population, with more and more people using one or more of the devices.

The figures are based on a new report by Cisco, dubbed the "Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update", which shows that mobile and internet use is on the rise in countries across the globe.

In 2011, mobile data traffic more than doubled – growing by an estimated 133 per cent, which is higher than earlier predictions by the computer software company.

Based on these figures, Cisco is forecasting a boom in the number of people using mobile-connected devices.

The organisation has also suggested that within the next 12 months there will be more mobile devices around than people, with many customers choosing to operate more than one of these products at any given time.

By 2016 experts are predicting that there will be as many as 1.4 mobile devices per capita, which in real terms translates to roughly ten billion mobile-connected devices, while the world's population is forecast to tip the scales at a comparatively low 7.3 billion.

Data from video traffic is also looking up and has increased by about 52 per cent, a figure which seems to coincide with faster internet connections and better graphics. It may also coincide with an increase in the number of electronic items that now support video sharing.

The ongoing popularity of apps, which some people can't seem to get enough off, is partly responsible for mobile cloud storage data rising so strongly, with video apps such as YouTube and Netflicks along with smartphone generated email usage leading to strong growth figures in this area.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of web-based data increases, with the report finding that the average use of smartphones tripled last year and users became more comfortable navigating the net from the comfort of their tablet.

Posted by Aimee McBride