The article covers the results of the annual Cisco Visual Networking Index forecast; which analyzes Internet protocol (IP) networking growth and trends worldwide.
The report quantitatively projects the volume of IP-traffic expected to travel public & private networks including: overall Internet, mobile data traffic generated by consumers & business users, global & regional residential, consumer mobile, and business services growth rates.
Through 2016, annual global IP traffic is forecast to be 1.3ZB (zeta-bytes), or a 1.3 trillion gigabytes. The projected increase of global traffic between 2015 & 2016 alone is more than 330EB (exabytes), which is almost the total amount of global IP traffic generated in 2011 (369 exabytes).
This level of traffic growth is driven by a number of factors:
- More Internet users: By 2016, there are expected to be 3.4 billion Internet users online; about 45% of the world’s projected population.
- Increasing #of devices: The ubiquity of mobile phones, tablets, and other smart devices as well as machine-to-machine “M2M” connections are driving up the demand for connectivity. By 2016, the forecast states there will be nearly 18.9 billion network connections — almost 2.5 connections for each person on earth, — compared with 10.3 billion in 2011
- More video: By 2016, 1.2 million video minutes — the equivalent of 833 days (or over two years) — would travel the Internet every second.
- Faster broadband speeds: The average fixed broadband speed is expected to increase nearly fourfold, from 9 megabits per second (Mbps) in 2011 to 34 Mbps in 2016.
- Wi-Fi growth: By 2016, over half of the world’s Internet traffic is expected to come from Wi-Fi connections.
Total expected growth in ‘bytes’:
Global IP traffic is expected to reach 1.3ZB (zettabytes) per year (110 exabytes per month) through 2016; nearly a 400% increase from approximately 31 exabytes per month in 2011.
Average global IP traffic in 2016 is expected to reach 150PB (petabytes) per hour, the equivalent of 278 million people streaming an HD movie (at an average streaming speed of 1.2 Mbps) simultaneously.
Regional IP traffic trends:
By 2016, the Asia-Pacific region is forecast to generate the most IP traffic (40.5EB exabytes per month), maintaining the top spot over North America (27.5 exabytes per month); which generated the second most amount of traffic.
The fastest-growing IP-traffic regions for the forecast period (2011-2016) are the Middle East and Africa (58% compound annual growth rate, for 1000% growth), and Latin America (49% CAGR, for 700% growth).
For fastest-growing IP traffic at the country level, India is expected to have the highest IP traffic growth rate with a 62% CAGR from 2011 to 2016. In a second-place tie, Brazil and South Africa both have 53 % CAGRs over the forecast period.
Through 2016, the highest traffic-generating countries will be the United States (22EB (exabytes) per month) and China (12EB per month).