Internet traffic to grow 3x by 2018, mobile taking over: Cisco

  • Annual IP traffic for 2018 will be greater than all traffic generated from 1984-2013
  • Majority of traffic to originate from devices other than PCs for first time in history
Internet traffic to grow 3x by 2018, mobile taking over: Cisco

ACCORDING to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Forecast and Service Adoption for 2013 to 2018, global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will increase nearly threefold over this five-year period due to more Internet users and devices, faster broadband speeds and more video viewing.
 
Global IP traffic for fixed and mobile connections is expected to reach an annual run rate of 1.6 zettabytes – more than one and a half trillion gigabytes per year by 2018, Cisco said in a statement.
 
A zettabyte is equal to 1,000 exabytes and precedes the yottabyte unit of measurement, the company noted.
 
The projected annual IP traffic for 2018 will be greater than all IP traffic that has been generated globally from 1984 to 2013 (1.3 zettabytes), Cisco said.
 
The composition of IP traffic will shift dramatically in the coming few years. During the forecast period, the majority of traffic will originate from devices other than personal computers (PCs) for the first time in the history of the Internet.
 
The Internet of Everything is also gaining momentum and by 2018 there will be nearly as many machine-to-machine (M2M) connections as there are people on earth, Cisco said. Smart cars will have nearly four M2M modules per car.
 
“Our first Cisco Visual Networking Index nine years ago established the zettabyte as a major milestone for global IP traffic,” said Doug Webster, vice president of Products and Solutions Marketing at Cisco.
 
“Today, we are firmly in the ‘Zettabyte Era' and witnessing incredible innovations and shifts in the industry. The reality of the Internet of Everything (IoE), the increasing demand for network mobility, and the emergence of 4K video are among the key trends highlighted in this year's forecast that represent significant opportunities for service providers today and in the immediate future.”
 
World Cup 2014

Internet traffic to grow 3x by 2018, mobile taking over: Cisco

With the FIFA World Cup 2014 that began on June 12, millions of people are expected to view games and/ or highlights via the Internet.
 
Video streaming and IP broadcast of the World Cup is anticipated to generate 4.3 exabytes of IP traffic, which is three times the amount of monthly IP traffic currently generated by Brazil (this year's World Cup host).
 
In addition, Internet traffic generated by the 60,000 people in a stadium and travelling to games is forecasted to surpass the ‘busy-hour’ traffic from all 94 million smartphone subscribers in Brazil. [The ‘busy-hour’ is a 60-minute period with the maximum total traffic load in a given 24-hour period.]
 
Global IP traffic is expected to reach 132 exabytes per month by 2018, which is the equivalent to: 8.8 billion screens streaming the FIFA World Cup final game in Ultra-HD/ 4K at the same time; 5.5 billion people binge-watching Game of Thrones Season 4 via video-on-demand in HD (high definition) or 1.5 billion watching in Ultra-HD/4K; 4.5 trillion YouTube clips; and 940 quadrillion text messages.
 
This updated Cisco VNI Forecast includes global fixed IP traffic growth and service adoption trends that complement the Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast released earlier this year, the company said.
 
IP traffic
 
Mobile and portable devices other than PCs will drive the majority of traffic by 2018. In 2013, 33% of IP traffic originated with non-PC devices. By 2018 however, the non-PC share of IP traffic will grow to 57%.
 
PC-originated traffic will grow at a 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), while other devices/ connections will have higher traffic growth rates over the forecast period including TVs (18%), tablets (74%), smartphones (64%) and M2M connections (84%).
 
Busy-hour Internet traffic is increasing faster than average Internet traffic, Cisco said. Busy-hour Internet traffic increased 32% in 2013, compared to a 25% growth in average Internet traffic.
 
IP video
 
IP video will be 79% of all IP traffic by 2018, up from 66% in 2013, Cisco said.
 
Ultra HD video will account for 11% of IP video traffic by 2018, up from 0.1% in 2013. HD video will account for 52% of IP video traffic by 2018 (up from 36%) and SD (standard definition) will account for the remaining 37% (down from 64%).
 
IP traffic by access type
 
WiFi and mobile-connected devices will generate 61% of IP traffic by 2018. WiFi will be 49% and cellular will be 12%. Fixed traffic will be only 39% of total IP traffic by 2018. In comparison,
 
WiFi was 41%; cellular was 3%; and fixed was 56% in 2013.
 
Furthermore, WiFi and mobile-connected devices will generate 76% of Internet traffic by 2018. WiFi will be 61% and cellular will be 15%. Fixed traffic will be only 24% of total Internet traffic by 2018.
 
In comparison, WiFi was 55%; cellular was 4%; and fixed was 41% in 2013.
 
Devices/ connections
 
By 2018, there will be nearly 21 billion global network connections (fixed/ mobile personal devices, M2M connections, etc.), up from about 12.4 billion connections in 2013.
 
There will be 2.7 networked devices/ connections globally per capita by 2018, up from 1.7 per capita in 2013.
 
There will be 7.3 billion M2M connections globally, or nearly one M2M connection per capita, based on a 7.6 billon population by 2018.
 
There will be 10 billion IPv6-capable (Internet Protocol version 6) fixed and mobile devices in 2018, up from two billion in 2013.
 
Increasing broadband speeds
 
Global broadband speeds will reach 42 Mbps by 2018, up from 16 Mbps at the end of 2013.
 
The majority of broadband connections, estimated at 55%, will be faster than 10 Mbps by 2018. Average broadband speeds in Japan and South Korea will approach 100 Mbps by 2018.
 
Advanced service adoption

Internet traffic to grow 3x by 2018, mobile taking over: Cisco

Online video will be the fastest growing residential Internet service with a CAGR of 10%from 2013-2018, growing from 1.2 billion users to 1.9 billion users by 2018.
 
Mobile location-based services will be the fastest growing consumer mobile service with a CAGR of 36% from 2013 to 2018, growing from 236 million users in 2013 to more than one billion users by 2018.
 
Desktop and personal videoconferencing will be the fastest growing business Internet service with a CAGR of 45% from 2013 to 2018, growing from 37 million users in 2013 to 238 million users by 2018.

Next Page: The view from Asia Pacific, and implications for service providers
 

 
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