Adding fuel to carrier demands for more wireless broadband spectrum, Cisco Systems released a study on Tuesday that points to a 39- fold surge in annual global mobile data traffic by 2014. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Forecast for 2009-2014 was compiled from data provided by independent analysts and research institutions. In summary, the report projects that global mobile data traffic will reach 3.6 exabytes per month, or an annual rate of 40 exabytes, by 2014, representing a 39-fold increase from 2009. Over the past year alone, global mobile data traffic has exploded by an astounding rate of 160%, and that traffic is growing at a rate 2.4 times faster than fixed broadband data traffic. According to the study, this growth is attributable to the proliferation of advanced mobile wireless devices as well as the expansion of mobile video services and content. By 2014, the study projects that video will account for 66% of all mobile data traffic, representing a 66-fold increase from 2009. At the same time, more than 5 billion wireless personal devices, ranging from smart phones to netbooks, will be connected to mobile data networks. As such, more than 400 million users worldwide are expected to access the Internet exclusively through mobile wireless connections in 2014, with the average mobile broadband connection to generate 7 gigabytes of traffic per month. (By comparison, the average mobile broadband connection today generates 1.3 gigabytes of traffic per month.) Asserting that “mobile data traffic is growing faster than expected five years ago,” Cisco senior director Doug Webster noted, “in spite of the economic downturn, the demand for mobile services has remained high, posing both challenges and opportunities for service providers worldwide.”