Mobile Devices Could Soon Be Guzzling More Data on Wifi Than From Wireless Carriers

New research suggested wifi networks will carry almost 60% of smartphone and tablet data traffic by 2019.

Wifi “hotspots,” as they are commonly referred to in North America, are now virtually ever, often meaning mobile users don’t need to rely on their wireless carriers. The data load on wifi networks is expected to surpass 115,000 petabytes by 2019—a four-fold increase over today.

The Juniper research report, titled Mobile Data Offload & Onload: Wi-Fi, Small Cell & Network Strategies 2015-2019, forecasts global mobile data traffic generated from devices including smartphones, feature phones, and tablets to exceed 197,000PB in 2019.

According to wifi service provider iPass, there were nearly 40 million community hotspots in 2014. By the end of this year there could be 90 million.