Cisco Looks Into Its Online Video Crystal Ball

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As part of its ongoing Visual Networking Index, which tracks and forecasts the impact of visual networking applications, Cisco foresees a day when the majority of online traffic worldwide includes a short video clip or an entire TV show. And by 2016, we’ll be talking about storage capacities in zettabytes (1,000 exabytes). In fact, global IP traffic will reach 1.1 zettabytes per year, or 91.3 exabytes (1 billion gigabytes) per month in two years. By 2018, global IP traffic will reach 1.6 zettabytes per year, or 131.6 exabytes per month.

Cisco says global IP traffic has increased more than fivefold in the past five years, and will increase threefold over the next five years. In addition, 55 percent of all Internet traffic will cross content delivery networks by 2018 globally.

As for video-over-IP forecasts, Cisco says it will take an individual over 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2018. That’s because by then nearly a million minutes of video content will cross the network every second.

IP Traffic

Globally, IP video traffic will be 79 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2018, up from 66 percent in 2013. This percentage does not include video exchanged through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. The sum of all forms of video (TV, video on demand, Internet and P2P) will be in the range of 80 to 90 percent of global consumer traffic by 2018.

In addition, Internet video to TV will continue to grow at a rapid pace, increasing fourfold by 2018. Internet video to TV traffic will be 14 percent of consumer Internet video traffic by 2018, up from 11 percent in 2013.

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The amount of VOD traffic will be equivalent to 6 billion DVDs per month by 2018.

Lastly, by 2018, 67 percent of all Internet video traffic will cross content delivery networks, up from 53 percent in 2013.

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Mobile Highlights

  • Globally, mobile data traffic will increase 11-fold between 2013 and 2018. Mobile data traffic will grow 61 percent between 2013 and 2018, reaching 15.9 exabytes per month by 2018.
  • Global mobile data traffic will grow three times faster than fixed IP traffic from 2013 to 2018. Global mobile data traffic was 3 percent of total IP traffic in 2013, and will be 12 percent of total IP traffic by 2018.
  • IP traffic in North America will reach 40.5 exabytes per month by 2018, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 percent. Monthly Internet traffic in North America will generate 7 billion DVDs’ worth of traffic, or 26.4 exabytes per month.

Global Business Highlights

  • Business IP traffic will grow at a CAGR of 18 percent from 2013 to 2018. Increased adoption of advanced video communications in the enterprise segment will cause business IP traffic to grow by a factor of two.
  • Business Internet traffic will grow at a faster pace than IP WAN. IP WAN will grow at a CAGR of 10 percent, compared with a CAGR of 21 percent for fixed business Internet and 55 percent for mobile business Internet.

Business IP traffic will grow fastest in the Middle East and Africa. Business IP traffic in the Middle East and Africa will grow at a CAGR of 23 percent, a faster pace than the global average of 18 percent. In volume, Asia Pacific will have the largest amount of business IP traffic in 2018, at 8.5 exabytes per month. North America will be the second fastest at 6.2 exabytes per month.

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