Mobile devices may soon outnumber humans reports BBC News. Statistics from Cisco's latest analysis of global mobile traffic predicts that there will be roughly 10 billion connected mobile devices by 2016.

The world currently has a little more than 7 billion people according to National Geographic, which reported extensively on the growing stress people are placing on the Earth. But aside from the environmental stress that will grow over the coming years as our population grows, so too will the demand for mobile device bandwith.

Global mobile data traffic grew 2.3-fold in 2011, more than doubling for the fourth year in a row, once again outpacing predictions that were forecast about the rate of growth. Traffic grew 133 percent rather than 131 percent as experts had expected.

The mobile data traffic from 2011 (597 petabytes per month) was eight times the size of the entire global internet data traffic in 2000 (75 petabytes per month).

The rise in data consumption is likely to cause problems for mobile operators reports the BBC. Average smartphone users consume 150 megabytes of data per month, but by 2016, that number is expected to rise to 2.6 gigabytes -- a whopping 1,675 percent increase.

The Cisco report makes several bold predictions about milestones that are likely be reached within the next five years. The company's predictions include the following:

Mobile data traffic will reach the following milestones within the next five years.

• Monthly global mobile data traffic will surpass 10 exabytes in 2016.

• Over 100 million smartphone users will belong to the gigabyte club (over 1 GB per month) by 2012.

• The number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world's population in 2012.

• The average mobile connection speed will surpass 1 Mbps in 2014.

• Due to increased usage on smartphones, handsets will exceed 50 percent of mobile data traffic in 2014.

• Monthly global mobile data traffic will surpass 10 exabytes in 2016.

• Monthly mobile tablet traffic will surpass 1 exabyte per month in 2016.

• Tablets will exceed 10 percent of global mobile data traffic in 2016.