Worldwide mobile data traffic is set to hit 52 million terabytes (TB) in 2015, an increase of 59 per cent year on year, according to Gartner.
The amount of data processed globally is expected to continue to swell, more than tripling by 2018 to reach 173 million TB, the analyst said.
A survey of 1,000 smartphone users in Germany and the same number in the US conducted by Gartner for an insight into data usage habits found that German users felt restricted by their data plans, with 54 per cent saying they would be less likely to consume data without using WiFi, resulting in less revenue for communication service providers (CSPs).
This is compared with just 36 per cent in the US, where 43 per cent were happy with their data plans, so were more willing to perform actions such as streaming videos for a longer amount of time - 17.4 minutes, compared with 10.6 minutes in Germany.
Mobile video usage is being driven by families with children who, according to Gartner, are less concerned about streaming videos over 3G or 4G connections.
In the US, 47 per cent of 45- to 54-year-olds stream more than 15 minutes of mobile video via a cellular connection per session, more than the 40 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds with the same amount of usage.
Gartner says CSPs must construct and deploy data plans with higher caps to increase share in this market.
Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner, said: "With video usage as a percentage of total data usage set to rise from 50 per cent now, to 60 per cent by 2018, we should expect CSPs to offer the best-breed video experience to consumers."
The key for CSPs to obtain long-term revenue growth is a stronger strategy when it comes to marketing and selling more expensive high-cap or unlimited data plans to customers, she added.
"The evidence is that once customers commit to a larger plan, their usage habits change significantly, resulting in longer-term revenue benefits for CSPs. This shows evidence of pent-up demand and an opportunity for those CSPs able to create the right package," she said.
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