Recently, Cisco issued results of the annual Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2011-2016), the company's ongoing initiative to forecast and analyze Internet protocol (IP) networking growth and trends worldwide. The VNI Forecast update covers 2011-2016, and quantitatively projects the significant amount of IP traffic expected to travel public and private networks, including Internet, managed IP, and mobile data traffic generated by consumers and business users. This year, Cisco has also developed a new complementary study — the Cisco VNI Service Adoption Forecast, which includes global and regional residential, consumer mobile, and business services growth rates.
By 2016, annual global IP traffic is forecast to be 1.3 zettabytes — a zettabyte is equal to a sextillion bytes, or a trillion gigabytes. The projected increase of global IP traffic between 2015 and 2016 alone is more than 330 exabytes, which is almost equal to the total amount of global IP traffic generated in 2011 (369 exabytes). This significant level of traffic growth and service penetration is driven by a number of factors, including:
- An increasing number of devices: The proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, and other smart devices as well as machine-to-machine (M2M) connections are driving up the demand for connectivity. By 2016, the forecast projects there will be nearly 18.9 billion network connections — almost 2.5 connections for each person on earth, — compared with 10.3 billion in 2011
- More Internet users: By 2016, there are expected to be 3.4 billion Internet users — about 45 percent of the world's projected population according to United Nations estimates.
- Faster broadband speeds: The average fixed broadband speed is expected to increase nearly fourfold, from 9 megabits per second (Mbps) in 2011 to 34 Mbps in 2016.
- More video: By 2016, 1.2 million video minutes — the equivalent of 833 days (or over two years) — would travel the Internet every second.
- Wi-Fi growth: By 2016, over half of the world's Internet traffic is expected to come from Wi-Fi connections.
Click through for results from the Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast.
- Global IP traffic is expected to reach 1.3 zettabytes per year or 110 exabytes per month by 2016, nearly a fourfold increase from approximately 31 exabytes per month in 2011.
- Average global IP traffic in 2016 is expected to reach 150 petabytes per hour, the equivalent of 278 million people streaming an HD movie (at an average streaming speed of 1.2 Mbps) simultaneously.
- By 2016, the Asia-Pacific region is forecast to generate the most IP traffic (40.5 exabytes per month), maintaining the top spot over North America (27.5 exabytes per month), which generated the second most amount of traffic.
- The fastest-growing IP-traffic regions for the forecast period (2011-2016) are the Middle East and Africa (58 percent compound annual growth rate, for tenfold growth), and Latin America (49 percent CAGR, sevenfold growth).
- For fastest-growing IP traffic at the country level, India is expected to have the highest IP traffic growth rate with a 62 percent CAGR from 2011 to 2016. In a second-place tie, Brazil and South Africa both have 53 percent CAGRs over the forecast period.
- By 2016, the highest traffic-generating countries will be the United States (22 exabytes per month) and China (12 exabytes per month).
Globally, there are expected to be 1.5 billion Internet video users by 2016, up from 792 million Internet video users in 2011.
- By 2016, the Index forecasts there will be nearly 18.9 billion network connections — almost 2.5 connections for each person on earth.
- In 2011, PCs generated 94 percent of consumer Internet traffic. This contribution is expected to fall to 81 percent by 2016 — demonstrating the impact that an increasing number and variety of devices like tablets, smartphones, etc. are having on how consumers and businesses access and use the Internet.
- By 2016, TVs are expected to account for over six percent of global consumer Internet traffic (up from four percent in 2011), and 18 percent of Internet video traffic (up from seven percent in 2011) — demonstrating the impact of Web-enabled TVs as a viable online option for many consumers.
- Globally, the index suggests there will be eight billion IPv6-capable fixed and mobile devices in 2016, up from 1 billion in 2011; and
- Globally, 40 percent of all fixed and mobile networked devices will be IPv6-capable in 2016, up from 10 percent in 2011.
Global advanced video traffic, including three-dimensional (3D) and high-definition TV (HDTV), is projected to increase five times between 2011 and 2016.
Global mobile Internet data traffic is forecast to increase 18 times from 2011 to 2016, to 10.8 exabytes per month (or 130 exabytes annually).
By 2016, global peer-to-peer traffic is projected to account for 54 percent of global consumer Internet file sharing traffic, down from 77 percent in 2011. On a quantity basis, however, the amount of peer-to-peer traffic is expected to increase from a rate of 4.6 exabytes per month in 2011 to 10 exabytes per month by 2016.
Business IP videoconferencing is projected to grow sixfold over the forecast period, growing more than two times as fast as overall business IP traffic, at a CAGR of 42 percent from 2011 to 2016.
- Globally, there were 1.7 billion residential Internet users with fixed Internet access in 2011; the index forecasts there will be 2.3 billion residential Internet users with fixed Internet access by 2016.
- Globally, digital TV is expected to be the fastest-growing digital television service, going from 694 million subscribers in 2011 to 1.3 billion subscribers in 2016.
- Globally, voice over IP (VoIP) is projected to be the fastest-growing residential Internet service, going from 560 million users in 2011 to 928 million users in 2016.
- Globally, online music is expected to be the most highly penetrated residential Internet service — in 2011 there were 1.1 billion users (63 percent of residential Internet users); in 2016 there are forecast to be 1.8 billion users (79 percent of residential Internet users).
- Globally, mobile consumers are forecast to grow from 3.7 billion in 2011 to 4.5 billion by 2016.
- Globally, mobile video is projected to be the fastest-growing consumer mobile service, going from 271 million users in 2011 to 1.6 billion users in 2016.
- Globally, the Index suggests consumer SMS will be the most highly penetrated consumer mobile service — in 2011, there were 2.8 billion users (74 percent of consumer mobile users), increasing to 4.1 billion users (90 percent of consumer mobile users) by 2016.
- Globally, business Internet users are projected to grow from 1.6 billion in 2011 to 2.3 billion by 2016.
- Globally, desktop videoconferencing is projected to be the fastest-growing service, with 36.4 million users in 2011, increasing to 218.9 million users in 2016.
- Globally, business mobile location-based services (LBS) are forecast to be the fastest-growing business mobile service, with 27 million users in 2011, increasing to 158 million users by 2016.