Global IP traffic to triple from 2014-2019: Cisco

  • IP video to represent 80% of all traffic by 2019, driven by advanced services and M2M
  • 67% of all global IP traffic to originate from mobile connections by 2019
Global IP traffic to triple from 2014-2019: Cisco

ANNUAL Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will triple between 2014 and 2019, when it will reach a record two zettabytes, according to the 10th annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast.
A zettabyte is equal to 1,000 exabytes, which itself is equal to one billion gigabytes.
“It took 32 years – from 1984 to 2016 – to generate the first zettabyte of IP traffic annually,” said Doug Webster, vice president of Service Provider Products and Solutions Marketing at Cisco.
“However, as this year’s Visual Networking Index forecasts, it will take only three additional years to reach the next zettabyte milestone when there will be more than two zettabytes of IP traffic annually by 2019,” he added.
Factors expected to drive traffic growth include global increases in Internet users, personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, faster broadband speeds, and the adoption of advanced video services, Cisco said in a statement.
Collectively, these variables are expected to create a global IP traffic compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% – the first global CAGR increase in consecutive VNI forecasts in nearly a decade (e.g., last year’s projected CAGR for 2013-2018 was 21%).
“The results of this year’s Visual Networking Index support the trends we’re beginning to see in data traffic and consumption habits in Malaysia,” said Cisco Malaysia country manager Albert Chai.
“With the steady increase in 4G (Fourth Generation) connectivity, many telecommunications providers are also beginning to offer innovative packages that rope in free streaming of video content,” he added.
Video push

Global IP traffic to triple from 2014-2019: Cisco

The increase in video content streaming across cellular networks has several implications for business communications and advertising, said Chai (pic above).
“Companies are beginning to understand where their audience is at, the stack of devices they are on, and how they can leverage upon the growing viewership of video content and video-on-demand (VOD) services like Tonton and iflix.
“As the VNI report also suggests, bandwidth development in the region today is key in presenting a wider opportunity for organisations to connect with their audiences over a variety of online video channels,” he added.
Key findings (click infographic to enlarge)
Cisco predicts that global IP traffic will reach 168 exabytes per month by 2019, up from 59.9 exabytes per month in 2014.
In 2019, nearly as much traffic will traverse global IP networks than all prior ‘Internet years’ combined (from 1984 to the end of 2013).
Global IP traffic to triple from 2014-2019: CiscoSeveral elements will shape IP traffic in the coming years:

  • More Internet users: As fixed and mobile networks grow and expand, more people will have network and Internet access. In 2014, there were 2.8 billion Internet users, or 39% of the world’s population of 7.2 billion. By 2019, there will be about 3.9 billion Internet users, or 51% of the world’s projected population of 7.6 billion (Source: Population Division of the Dept. of Economic & Social Affairs of the United Nations).
  • Proliferation of devices and connections: With 24 billion networked devices/ connections expected online by 2019, compared with 14 billion in 2014, service provider networks must adapt to an influx of sophisticated devices. These devices include tablets, smartphones, and Internet-enabled ultra-high definition (UHD) TVs, as well as M2M connections and wearables (including new smart watches, health monitors, etc.). Globally, there will be 3.2 networked devices/ connections per capita by 2019, up from 2 per capita in 2014. These advanced devices and connections will need to be authenticated to gain access to fixed and mobile networks, which require enhanced intelligence, network management and security. A comprehensive IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) strategy will be imperative for carriers to accommodate the volume and complexity of next-generation devices and connections. Globally, 41% of all fixed and mobile networked devices/ connections will be IPv6-capable by 2019, up from 22% in 2014.
  • Faster fixed broadband speeds: Globally, the average fixed broadband speed will increase two-fold from 20.3Mbps in 2014 to 42.5Mbps in 2019. Year-over-year, the average global fixed broadband speed grew 26% from 16Mbps in 2013 to 20.3Mbps in 2014. From a regional perspective, Western Europe and Asia Pacific continue to lead the world in fixed broadband network speeds. North America and other regions are also updating their network resources to accommodate more bandwidth-intensive content and applications (e.g., UHD video). By 2019, 33% of all global fixed broadband connections will be faster than 25Mbps, up from 29% today (mobile network speeds are covered in the February 2015 VNI Mobile report).
  • New and advanced video services: IP video will account for 80% of all IP traffic by 2019, up from 67% in 2014. The evolution of advanced video services (e.g., UHD and spherical/360 video) and increasingly video centric M2M applications are anticipated to create new bandwidth and scalability requirements for service providers. Residential, business and mobile consumers continue to have strong demand for advanced video services across all network and device types, making quality, convenience, content/ experience and price key success factors.
  • Mobility momentum: By 2019, more than 14% of monthly IP traffic will derive from cellular connections, and 53% of monthly IP traffic will come from WiFi connections globally, making differentiated and monetisable mobile strategies more important for all service providers.
    • WiFi and mobile connected devices will generate 67% of IP traffic by 2019 (WiFi 53% and cellular 14%) – compared with fixed traffic, which will account for 33% of overall traffic.
    • In 2014, fixed traffic accounted for 54% of IP traffic, while WiFi accounted for 42% and cellular 4%.
  • The Internet of Everything (IoE) and M2M growth: The IoE trend is showing tangible growth as M2M connections will more than triple over the next five years (growing to 10.5 billion by 2019). There will be significant IoE adoption across many business verticals (e.g., agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and transportation) as well as connected home deployments (i.e., video security, smart meters, lighting/temperature control, etc.).
    • The Connected Health consumer segment will represent the fastest M2M connections growth at 8.6-fold (54% CAGR) from 2014 to 2019;
    • The Connected Home segment will represent nearly half (48%) of M2M connections by 2019.
    • Annual global M2M IP traffic will grow 15-fold over this same period, from 308 petabytes in 2014 (0.5% of global IP traffic) to 4.6 exabytes by 2019 (2.7% of global IP traffic).
  • Games impact: Cisco predicts a marked increase in network traffic associated with game downloads driven by availability of storage capacity on games consoles, an increase in upstream cloud traffic, and increasing fibre connections.
  • Advanced service adoption: Online music will be the fastest-growing residential Internet service with a CAGR of 7.7% from 2014-2019, growing from 1.2 billion users to 1.7 billion users by 2019. Mobile location-based service (LBS) will be the fastest growing consumer mobile service with a CAGR of 27.5% from 2014-19, growing from 597 million users in 2014 to over two billion users by 2019. Desktop and personal videoconferencing will be the fastest growing business Internet service with a CAGR of 23.5% from 2014-2019, growing from 76 million users in 2014 to 220 million users by 2019.

Cisco VNI methodology
The Cisco VNI Global Forecast and Service Adoption study for 2014 to 2019 rely upon independent analyst forecasts and real-world mobile data usage studies. Upon this foundation are layered Cisco's own estimates for global IP traffic and service adoption.
A detailed methodology description is included in the complete report, or read the complete Cisco VNI Complete IP Traffic Forecast Update, 2014–2019 white paper.
Related Stories:
Asia continues to lead in Internet connection speeds: Akamai
Internet traffic to grow 3x by 2018, mobile taking over: Cisco
Asia Pacific mobile data traffic to increase 14-fold by 2019
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