Cisco sees 3X IP traffic growth by 2018, 79% is expected to be video

By Jim O'Neill on Jun 10 2014 at 9:00 AM

Video traffic will increase to 79% of all IP traffic by 2018, up from 66% in 2013, with HD and Ultra HD making up the bulk of it, a new report says.

Ultra HD video is expected to grow to 11% of the traffic, compared to just .1% in 2013, and HD video will increase nearly 45% to make up more than half (52%) of all video traffic from 36% in 2013.

In the U.S., video traffic is expected to increase to 84% from its current 78%.

And, said Cisco, in its latest Visual Networking Index, traffic from devices other than PCs will grow to 57% of all traffic, up from 33%. That’s an increase of nearly 73% and represents the first time in history that PC traffic has not dominated the Internet.

Devices will continue to lead the growth in global IP traffic, which is expected to more than triple to an annual run rate of 1.6 zettabytes over the next five years, that’s more than the total of all IP traffic that has been generated globally from 1984 – 2013 (1.3 zettabytes).

Monthly global IP traffic is expected to reach 132 exabytes per month by 2018. Need something to help you get a handle on just how much that is? How about this: 5.5 billion people binge-watching "Game of Thrones" Season 4 via video-on-demand in HD or 1.5 billion watching in Ultra-HD/4K.

The drivers? A growing number of Internet users who are accessing more devices across a faster Internet to watch more video.

More than half the world’s population in 2018 about 4 billion people) will use the Internet, up from 2.5 billion today; they’ll use 21 billion networked devices and connections globally, up from 12 billion in 2013.

The global average for broadband speed hovered near 16 Mbps in 2013, but that’s expected to nearly triple to 42 Mbps by 2018.

Traffic growth of devices used to connect to the Internet will grow significantly faster than PC-based traffic.

Tablets are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 74%, outpacing smartphones (64%) and TV sets (18%).

Only M2M devices, which are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 84%, will grow faster.

PCs, meanwhile, are expected to see a CAGR of 10%.

Over the next several weeks, the World Cup is expected to set some records of its own as a massive global audience consumes live game action, highlights and other traffic from the 64 matches to be played.

Overall, some 4.3 exabytes of IP traffic, three times the monthly average for Brazil, is expected.

"In the future at some point every month is going to look like the world cup month because the consumption just keeps getting bigger and bigger," said Robert Pepper, Cisco's vice president of global technology policy.

You can see more about the report here.

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia

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