A rise in the use of IoT technology, AI and UHD video streaming will dramatically increase data consumption in the years ahead

More than 2.5 billion customers worldwide will be consuming a minimum of 1 Gb of data per month, by 2025, according to Huawei. 

Speaking at a Huawei event in London on Thursday, Peter Zhou, CMO of the company’s Wireless Network Product Line, said that the emergence of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Ultra-High Definition (UHD) video streaming would open the floodgates for data consumption in the years to come. Network operators must act now to meet this growing demand, according to Zhou.

"The whole industry is crying out for next generation technology, today" he said.

Currently, the average mobile customer in the UK consumes around 2.5Gb of data per month. The world’s largest consumer of data per capita, is Kuwait, with citizens in the Gulf state consuming 70Gb per month.

Over 100 network operators around the globe currently offer unlimited data tariffs, but many telcos have struggled to adequately monetise the huge quantities of data that pass through their networks.

Huawei is set to launch its industry leading AI platform, Atlas, at this year’s Mobile World Congress event, in Barcelona. Atlas will utilise CPU / GPU / FPGA heterogeneous computing and will be capable of searching through over 100 billion images in a matter of seconds, giving an insight into the sheer power of the next generation of telecoms technology.

The growth of AI and IoT could be a real money spinner for telcos, providing they are prepared to think outside the box, according to Huawei.

"By 2025 we predict that there will be 40 billion connected devices generating 180 billion Tb of data," president of Huawei’s Carrier Business Group, Ryan Ding, told Total Telecom. This presents telcos with a massive opportunity, if they can devise strategies to monetise data traffic.  

This sentiment was echoed by Huawei’s VP for the Carrier Business Group, Edward Fan, who said that "The Golden Age of IoT has arrived."

In 2017 revenues derived from IoT technology averaged $8 billion, or 0.5% of a telco’s typical revenue. By 2025, Huawei predicts that figure will rise to $400 billion, 20% of total revenues.