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Global IP Traffic Expected to Grow Over 1.5 Trillion Gigabytes Per Year to 2018

New York — In its latest prediction on the growth in the use of online video, Cisco says that by 2018 there will be more consumption devices than people, with 2.7 networked devices and/or connections for every person on Earth. That’s up from 1.7 per capita in 2013.

In addition, global IP traffic is expected grow three-fold between 2013 and 2018, according to Cisco, reaching an annual run rate of 1.6 zettabytes, or more than 1.5 trillion gigabytes per year.

These are some of the staggering numbers included Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index.

The main drivers of this exponential increase, according to Cisco, are the emergence of 4K, OTT services, the increased availability of WiFi and machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies (like remote parking meter monitoring and new types of smart cars). The report also predicts that by 2018, more traffic will traverse global networks than all prior “Internet years” combined.

The report predicts that by 2018, there will be about 3.9 billion Internet users—more than half of the world’s projected population, up from about one third of the world’s population connected in 2013. The average fixed broadband speed will nearly triple, from 16 Mbps in 2013 to 42 Mbps in 2018.

Cisco also forecasts that by 2018, more than 20 percent of Connected Flat Panel TV Sets will be 4K and IP video will represent nearly 80 percent of all IP traffic by 2018, up from 66 percent in 2013.

WiFi and mobile-connected devices are expected to generate 76 percent of Internet traffic by 2018. Cisco expects 53 million WiFi hotspots by 2018 around the globe, more than doubling from 22 million hotspots in 2013.

Among M2M services, smart cars will drive 41 Petabytes of traffic per month, with 4 M2M modules per car expected by 2018.