The mobile economy is set to explode over the next four years

The mobile economy is set to explode over the next four years, contributing to substantial economic growth, a message we heard from the mobile industry while attending this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. An array of notable statistics were cited by speakers over the event’s four days, including the forecast that within five years, there will be more connected devices in the world than people, according to research from industry association GSMA, the show’s sponsor. This mobile economy could create 1.3 million jobs within the next five years and contribute $10.5 trillion to global GDP.

Around the globe, more people are purchasing multiple mobile devices, and this year more tablets will ship than laptops. At the same time, more consumer goods are turning into connected machines, including cars, thermostats and fridges. All these devices are generating massive amounts of new data, and in turn driving mobile traffic. In the U.S., AT&T has experienced a 30,000 percent increase in traffic over the past six years, explained AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson in his keynote address.

Later this month, we’ll publish a trend report on the fast-evolving mobile landscape. Meanwhile, see our 2012 report “15 Ways Mobile Will Change our Lives” here.