By Edward Gately
It was only a few years ago that we started hearing new terms such as exabyte, zettabyte and petabyte to describe the massive amounts of data traversing the Internet. And if this growth keeps up, there will be new words defining even bigger amounts in the near future.
Cisco’s newly released 10th annual Visual Networking Index Forecast predicts that annual IP traffic will reach a record 2 zettabytes in 2019, fueled by global increases in Internet users, personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, faster broadband speeds and the adoption of advanced video services.
How big is a zettabyte? That’s 100 trillion gigabytes.
Breaking it down, Cisco predicts that global IP traffic will reach 168 exabytes (1,000 exabytes = 1 zettabyte) per month just five years from now, up dramatically from only 60 exabytes per month last year. In 2019, traffic is expected to nearly outpace all prior “Internet years” combined, from 1984 to the end of 2013.
Partners should be licking their chops at the potential opportunities.
The explosion in IP traffic is expected to continue to create challenges for service providers, including bandwidth capacity, new bandwidth and scalability requirements and differentiation of services. Up to 24 billion network devices and connections will be online in 2019, nearly double the number from last year. These include tablets, smartphones, and Internet-enabled UHD TVs, as well as M2M connections and wearables, such as smart watches and health monitors. Globally, there will be 3.2 networked devices/connections per person by 2019, up from two in 2014.
“As consumers, businesses and societies alike head towards the digital era with the Internet of Everything (IoE) gaining momentum, VNI is even more relevant now in its 10th year than it was in its first,” said Doug Webster, Cisco’s vice president of service provider products and solutions marketing.
How boggled is your mind to this point? Here’s another wild stat: By 2019, the number of Internet users globally is expected to reach 3.9 billion, or 51 percent of the world’s projected population, up dramatically from 2.8 billion or 39 percent, in 2014.
Lead by Western Europe and Asia Pacific, the average fixed broadband speed will double to 42.5 Mbps in 2019, up from 20.3 Mbps in 2014.
IP video will account for 80 percent of …
… all IP traffic by 2019, up from 67 percent in 2014. 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.
Peering deeper into its crystal ball, Cisco says by 2019, more than 14 percent of monthly IP traffic will be driven by cellular connections and 53 percent of monthly IP traffic will come from Wi-Fi connections, making differentiated and monetizable mobile strategies more important for all service providers.
The Internet of Things (IoT), called the Internet of Everything by Cisco, is showing tangible growth as M2M connections will more than triple over the next five years, reaching 10.5 billion by 2019. Significant IoT adoption is expected across many business verticals, such as agriculture, health care, manufacturing, retail and transportation, as well as connected-home deployments, like video security, smart meters and lighting/temperature control.
Desktop and personal videoconferencing will be the fastest-growing business Internet service, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.5 percent from 2014 to 2019, as the number of users reaches 220 million, compared to 76 million in 2014.
Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Forecast is used by national governments, network regulators, academic researchers, telecommunications companies, technology experts and others to plan for the digital future.