Global mobile networks will support over 12 billion IoT devices and connections by 2022.


More than a decade ago, when the first Cisco Mobile Visual Networking Index (MVNI) report was released, mobile traffic accounted for less than 5% of total IP traffic on the global network. Currently, the role and reliance on cellular networks has increased dramatically.

Globally, there has been an increase in mobile web access for consumers and business users. The increased coverage and quality of mobile broadband has also contributed to the growth in demand for cellular connectivity, media, and the wide range of mobile IoT applications and associated application ecosystem.



According to this year’s edition of the survey, covering the years 2017-2022, mobile network traffic will approach the level of 1 zettabyte per year by the end of the forecast period. By 2022, mobile traffic will represent almost 20% of global IP traffic and will reach 930 exabytes per year. That’s nearly 113 times more than all the global cellular traffic generated just ten years earlier in 2012.

Mobile technologies connect people and things more than ever. There were 5 billion mobile phone users worldwide in 2017, but this number is expected to rise to 5.5 billion over the next five years, which represents approximately 71% of the world’s population. By 2022, there will be a total of over 12 billion mobile devices and IoT connections (compared to approximately nine billion mobile devices and IoT connections in 2017) – by 2022, mobile networks will take over charges more than eight billion personal devices, mobile phones and four billion IoT Connections.

Cisco’s forecast update also predicts continued efforts by mobile operators around the world to improve network performance. The global average mobile network capacity will more than triple, from 8.7 Mb/s in 2017 to 28.5 Mb/s by 2022. Average data rates on mobile networks vary widely depending on the geographic location, as certain regions begin to gain popularity.

Key predictions:

  • Share of LPWA, 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G connections:
  • In 2017, low power wide area networks (LPWA) served 1.5% of cellular/M2M connections, 2G served 34% of global cellular/M2M connections, 3G served 30% of global cellular/M2M connections, while 4G accounted for 35% of global connections. telephone / M2M connections.
  • By 2022, LPWA networks will handle 14% of cellular/M2M connections, 2G will handle 8% of global cellular/M2M connections; 3G will support 20% of global cellular/M2M connections; 4G will support 54% of global cellular/M2M connections; 5G will support 3% of global cellular/M2M connections (approximately 422 million 5G connections worldwide).


  • By 2022, 5G connections will account for over 3% of all cellular connections (more than 422 million 5G devices and M2M connections worldwide) and account for nearly 12% of global mobile data traffic.
  • By 2022, the average 5G connection (22 GB/month) will generate about 3 times more traffic than the average 4G connection (8 GB/month).
  • WiFi: Offload traffic from mobile (cellular) networks to fixed (WiFi) networks
  • In 2017, monthly offload traffic (13 EB) exceeded monthly mobile traffic (12 EB).
  • In 2017, 54% of total mobile data transmission was offloaded; by 2022, 59% of total mobile data transmission will be offloaded.
  • Total IP traffic (fixed and mobile) in 2017: 48% wired, 43% WiFi, 9% mobile.
  • Total IP traffic (fixed and mobile) in 2022: 29% wired, 51% WiFi, 20% mobile.
  • Globally, the total number of WiFi hotspots (including home hotspots) will quadruple, from 124 million in 2017 to 549 million in 2022.

Key predictions for Poland:

  • By 2022, the number of mobile Internet users will increase to 87% (from 85% in 2017).
  • The number of mobile devices per capita will increase from 1.4 in 2017 to 2.2 in 2022.
  • By 2022, the average mobile network connection speed will be 33.3 Mbps, almost three times faster than in 2017 (11.3 Mbps)
  • In 2022, the average monthly mobile traffic per user will increase to 16 GB. In 2017, it was 3.7 GB.
  • 5G connections will represent 0.3% of all mobile connections in 2022.
  • 4G connections will account for 74.2% of all mobile connections in 2022, up from 33.5% in 2017.
  • 3G connections will account for 11.8% of all mobile connections in 2022, up from 57.2% in 2017.
  • By 2022, 59% of total IP traffic (fixed and mobile) will be via Wi-Fi, 19% via cable and 22% via mobile.
  • The total number of public W-Fi hotspots (including home hotspots) will increase from 4 million in 2017 to 7 million by 2022.

– Cisco helps network operators meet the growing bandwidth needs of mobile connections of consumers, business users and those who use IoT applications – said Przemysław Kania, CEO of Cisco Poland. “As global cellular traffic approaches the zettabyte limit, we believe that 5G and WiFi will co-exist as essential and complementary access technologies, delivering key benefits to our enterprise customers and service providers, enabling them to extend their existing network architectures.

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