Mobile Data Traffic Projected to Grow 762% by 2018 in Canada


The rapidly growing connected mobile devices market also means a huge growth in the volume of data travelling on the mobile networks of Canadian wireless companies. To put that into numbers, mobile data traffic in Canada is expected to jump 762% in 2018, Cisco Systems Inc. reports (via the Financial Post).

As the report points out, roughly 28.6 petabytes (PB) of data is travelling each month across the telcos’ mobile networks as of today. But this is expected to increase to 246.8 petabytes four years from now.

To understand what this amount of data means exactly: 246.8 PB is equal to about 62 million DVDs per month, or 680 million text messages per second. All of this is going through the country’s mobile network.

Zooming out to a global scale, the Cisco report found that 4G connections will post an eight-fold growth over the next five years, accounting for 15% of all mobile connections by 2018.

Cell tower

It is worth noting that an average Canadian smartphone user generates about 1,067 megabytes of mobile data on a monthly basis. This number more than doubles when it comes to 4G-enabled devices: 2,226MB/month.


  • thewinnipegger

    Data growth will grow but data plans will stay small cause screw consumers – Big 3.

  • Angelus

    Wonder how much of this growth will be from the decline of voice usage

  • Tim

    It would be nice if wireless carriers had the capacity to enter the home market at affordable rates. While I believe their profit margins are indeed high, I also believe they simply don’t have the network throughput or spectrum allotment to deliver line based broadband experiences at the same rates. We’re kind of lucky relative to the US where they’re almost out of spectrum. While it’s not as simple as saying we have the same air waves spread over a tenth of the population, we do have much more capacity to play with. That said, I don’t think it’s anywhere what we’d need for everyone to go wireless. Plus the best landline technologies are still much faster than what we have for OTA, although LTE is pretty good for most web browsing.

  • ModernLife

    Would be nice if the bottleneck of actually deploying a wireless network was removed. Municipalities are greatly inhibiting infrastructure deployment.

  • SV650

    As are the NIMBYs within this municipalities. See yesterday’s Calgary news…..I forget which station – likely Global, had a story about neighbourhood resistance to infrastructure to support wireless networks.