Devices to outnumber people as internet to quadruple by 2015

2 Jun 2011

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The number of network-connected devices will be more than 15bn, twice the world’s population, by 2015, the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index reveals. The total amount of global internet traffic will quadruple by 2015 and reach 966 exabytes per year.

The projected increase of internet traffic between 2014 and 2015 alone is 200 exabytes, which is greater than the total amount of internet Protocol traffic generated globally in 2010.

On the verge of reaching 1 zettabyte, which is equal to a sextillion bytes, or a trillion gigabytes by 2015, global IP traffic growth is driven by four primary factors, according to Cisco.

The proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, connected appliances and other smart machines is driving up the demand for connectivity. By 2015, there will be nearly 15bn network connections via devices – including machine-to-machine – and more than two connections for each person on earth.

By 2015, there will be nearly 3bn internet users – more than 40pc of the world’s projected population.

The average fixed broadband speed is expected to increase four-fold, from 7Mbps per second in 2010 to 28Mbps in 2015. The average broadband speed has already doubled within the past year, from 3.5Mbps to 7Mbps.

By 2015, 1m video minutes – the equivalent of 674 days – will traverse the internet every second.

Global IP traffic is expected to reach 80.5 exabytes per month by 2015, up from about 20.2 exabytes per month in 2010.

Average global IP traffic in 2015 will reach 245 terabytes per second, equivalent to 200m people streaming an HD movie (1.2Mbps) simultaneously every day.

Video is the primary data growth driver. The global online video community will increase by about 500m users by 2015, up from more than 1bn internet video users in 2010.

Global device growth – video is the main driver

In 2010, PCs generated 97pc of consumer internet traffic. This will fall to 87pc by 2015, demonstrating the impact that devices like tablets, smartphones and connected TVs are having on how consumers access and use the internet.

Accessing the internet on web-enabled TVs continues to grow and by 2015, 10pc of global consumer internet traffic and 18pc of internet video traffic will be consumed via TVs.

Global advanced video traffic, including three-dimensional (3D) and high-definition TV (HDTV), is projected to increase 14 times between 2010 and 2015.

Global mobile internet data traffic will increase 26 times from 2010 to 2015, to 6.3 exabytes per month (or 75 exabytes annually).

By 2015, global peer-to-peer traffic will account for 16pc of global consumer internet traffic, down from 40pc in 2010.

Business IP videoconferencing is projected to grow six fold over the forecast period, growing more than two times as fast as overall business IP traffic, at a CAGR of 41pc from 2010 to 2015.

“The explosive growth in internet data traffic, especially video, creates an opportunity in the years ahead for optimising and monetising visual, virtual and mobile internet experiences,” Suraj Shetty, vice-president of worldwide service provider marketing, Cisco.

“As architect of the next-generation internet, Cisco stands ready to help our customers not only accommodate this rapid expansion of internet activity through the evolution of their networks but also help them thrive as a result of it,” Shetty added.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.