Thursday May 31, 2012 : INTERNET TRAFFIC ABOUT TO ENTER A PERIOD OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH
By 2016, Internet traffic globally is expected to reach 150 petabytes an hour, or "the equivalent of 278 million people streaming an HD movie … simultaneously."
Brace yourselves for massive increases in internet traffic, is the message from the latest Cisco VIsual Networking Index Forecast, which predicts that traffic will increase four times to 1.3 zettabytes (one zettabyte is equal to a trillion gigabytes) by 2016.
The company says that by 2016, Internet traffic globally is expected to reach 150 petabytes an hour, or "the equivalent of 278 million people streaming an HD movie … simultaneously."
The highest-traffic generating countries in 2016 will be the United States, followed by China, Cisco told the MSNBC news service this week, advising that growth is being driven by mobile devices like smart phones, tablets and other "smart devices," including TV sets with Internet connections.
And by 2016, there will be nearly 18.9 billion network connections – "almost 2.5 connections for each person on earth" – compared with 10.3 billion network connections in 2011, Cisco says.
Up until now, PCs have generated 94 percent of consumer Internet traffic, the Index shows, but by 2016, that will decrease to 81 percent as mobile Internet data traffic is forecast to increase 18 times from 2011 to 2016.
Other factors bringing change and growth to the Web include:
• By 2016, there will be 3.4 billion Internet users; that's about 45 percent of the world's projected population.
• More than half of the world's Internet traffic is expected to come from Wi-Fi connections by 2016.
• Meanwhile, the average fixed broadband speed will increase "nearly fourfold," from 9 megabits per second in 2011 to 34 megabits per second in 2016, improving the user experience.
• By 2016, 1.2 million video minutes will "travel the Internet every second." In 2011, there were an estimated 792 million Internet video users; by 2016 there will be 1.5 billion. For businesses worldwide, "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."
"Each of us increasingly connects to the network via multiple devices in our always-on connected lifestyles," said Suraj Shetty, Cisco's vice president of product and solutions marketing.
"Whether by video phone calls, movies on tablets, web-enabled TVs, or desktop video conferencing, the sum of our actions not only creates demand for zettabytes of bandwidth, but also dramatically changes the network requirements needed to deliver on the expectations of this ‘new normal.' "