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Global IP Traffic To Triple by 2017, Cisco Study Finds

Global IP traffic will grow three-fold between 2012 and 2017, reaching nearly 121 exabytes  the equivalent of 30 billion DVDs  per month, up from about 44 exabytes per month in 2012, according to The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) forecast published Wednesday.

By 2017, the highest traffic-generating countries will be the United States (37 exabytes per month) and China (18 exabytes per month).

What’s driving the increase? There are several factors, not the least of which are more Internet users. The report found there will be about 3.6 billion Internet users  more than 48 percent of the world’s projected population (7.6 billion)  by 2017. This compares to 2.3 billion Internet users, or 32 percent of the world’s population (7.2 billion) in 2012.

Nearly half of the world’s population will have network and Internet access by 2017. The average Internet household (globally) will generate 74.5 gigabytes per month. By comparison, in 2012, the average Internet household generated 31.6 gigabytes of traffic per month.

In addition, there will be more devices and connections. Specifically, the report predicts more than 19 billion global network connections (fixed/mobile personal devices, M2M connections, et al.) in 2017, up from about 12 billion connections in 2012.

Fewer of these devices will be PCs. In 2012, 26 percent of Internet traffic originated with non-PC devices, but by 2017 the non-PC share of Internet traffic will grow to 49 percent. PC-originated traffic will grow at a 14 percent CAGR, while other devices/connections will have higher traffic growth rates over the forecast period  TVs (24 percent), tablets (104 percent), smartphones (79 percent), and machine-to-machine (M2M) modules (82 percent).

Increasingly, these devices will be used to access video. The report found global network users will generate 3 trillion Internet video minutes per month, which is the equivalent of 6 million years of video per month. Globally, there will be nearly 2 billion Internet video users (excluding mobile-only) by 2017, up from 1 billion Internet video users in 2012.


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