Cisco published this week an update to its Visual Networking Index Forecast, an ongoing initiative to track and forecast the impact of visual networking applications on Global IP traffic that predicts a near future with compound annual growth rates (CAGR) exceeding 30% in many categories, and a world in which Zetabytes of traffic will soon pass among the globally plugged-in population.
Some highlights from the paper, which covers the period from 2008 – 2013 include:
- CAGR of 40% for Global IP traffic, with the total quintupling over the next 4 years to exceed 667 exabytes by 2013;
- the equivalent of 10 billion DVDs crossing the Internet each month by 2013;
- all forms of video (TV, video on demand, Internet, and P2P) will account for over 91 percent of global consumer traffic by 2013;
- video communications traffic (instant messaging and video calling) will increase tenfold from 2008 to 2013;
- mobile data traffic will grow at a CAGR of 131% between 2008 and 2013, reaching over 2 exabytes per month by 2013;
- almost 64% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2013, growing at a CAGR of 150 percent between 2008 and 2013;
- mobile broadband handsets with higher than 3G speeds and laptop aircards will drive over 80 percent of global mobile traffic by 2013;
Those who are paid to think about, track and model predictive assessments of the future of communications see business IP traffic growing at a more modest rate of 33% CAGR, but detect a shift in business video communications from the Internet to the WAN, with the fastest growth occurring in Latin America and the heaviest volume, by far, generated in Asia.
In the consumer market, fastest growth is occurring today in the Middle East and Africa, followed closely by Latin America, with Asia generating nearly double the amount of traffic of any other continent.
A single high-end mobile phone (such as an iPhone or Blackberry) generates more data traffic than 30 basic-feature cell phones. A laptop aircard generates more data traffic than 450 basic-feature cell phones.
In all, the paper is a fascinating — if unsurprising — look at how our world is growing and changing and a titillating glimpse into the possibilities of the near future.
Access the full paper here and see its companion report, Hyperconnectivity and the Approaching Zettabyte Era.