Abu Dhabi The number of mobile and internet subscriptions worldwide could exceed the global population by 2016.

"There will be more than ten billion mobile internet-connected devices in 2016, including machine-to-machine [M2M] modules — exceeding the world's projected population at that time of 7.3 billion," Mohammad Tantawi, regional manager at Cisco Systems, told Gulf News.

Tantawi said a Cisco study for 2011-2016 anticipates global mobile data traffic will grow three times faster than fixed line traffic. In 2011 the Middle East and Africa's mobile data traffic grew by 134 per cent.

He said the report predicts that data transmission in 2016 could be the equivilent of 33 billion DVDs.

Tantawi said growth of tablets is helping accelerate the traffic and will continue to do so.

"The amount of mobile data traffic generated by tablets in 2016 would be one exa-byte per month, which is four times the total amount of monthly global mobile data traffic in 2010."

Tantawi also said mobile speeds would be high from 2011-2016.

"Mobile speeds, which include 2G, 3G and 4G networks, will increase nine-fold from 2011 to 2016," he said.