Cisco predicts 4.7+ zettabytes of IP traffic in 2022

Nov. 27, 2018
According to Cisco's (NASDAQ:CSCO) Visual Networking Index (VNI), by 2022, more IP traffic will cross global networks than in all prior ...

According to Cisco's (NASDAQ:CSCO) Visual Networking Index (VNI), by 2022, more IP traffic will cross global networks than in all prior "Internet years" combined up to the end of 2016, more than 4.7 zettabytes (ZB) of IP traffic. In other words, more traffic will be created in 2022 than in the 32 years since the Internet started in 1984. One zettabyte is 1021 bytes, or 1 trillion gigabytes (GB).

By 2022, 60% of the global population is expected to be Internet users, and more than 28 billion devices and connections are expected to be online. Video is expected to make up 82% of all IP traffic.

"The size and complexity of the Internet continues to grow in ways that many could not have imagined. Since we first started the VNI Forecast in 2005, traffic has increased 56-fold, amassing a 36% CAGR with more people, devices and applications accessing IP networks," said Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider Business, Cisco. "Global service providers are focused on transforming their networks to better manage and route traffic, while delivering premium experiences. Our ongoing research helps us gain and share valuable insights into technology and architectural transitions our customers must make to succeed."

Cisco's predictions for 2017-2022 include:

  1. Global IP traffic is expected to more than triple. Global IP traffic is expected to reach 396 exabytes per month by 2022, up from 122 exabytes per month in 2017. By 2022, the busiest hour of Internet traffic is expected to be six times more active than the average. Busy hour Internet traffic is expected to grow by nearly five times (37% CAGR) from 2017 to 2022, reaching 7.2 petabytes per second by 2022. In comparison, average Internet traffic is expected to grow by nearly four times (30% CAGR) over the same period to reach 1 petabyte by 2022.
  2. Global Internet users are expected to make up 60% of the world's population. There are expected to be 4.8 billion Internet users by 2022, up from 3.4 billion in 2017 or 45% of the world's population.
  3. Global networked devices and connections are expected to reach 28.5 billion. By 2022, there are expected to be 28.5 billion fixed and mobile personal devices and connections, up from 18 billion in 2017 - or 3.6 networked devices/connections per person, from 2.4 per person. More than half of all devices and connections are expected to be machine-to-machine by 2022, up from 34% in 2017. That's 14.6 billion connections from smart speakers, fixtures, devices and everything else, up from 6.1 billion.
  4. Global broadband, WiFi and mobile speeds are expected to double or more. Average global fixed broadband speeds are expected to nearly double from 39.0 Mbps to 75.4 Mbps. Average global WiFi connection speeds are expected to more than double from 24.4 Mbps to 54.0 Mbps. Average global mobile connection speeds are expected to more than triple from 8.7 Mbps to 28.5 Mbps.
  5. Video, gaming and multimedia are expected to make up more than 85% of all traffic. IP video traffic is expected to quadruple by 2022, to make up an even larger percentage of total IP traffic than before - up to 82% from 75%. Gaming traffic is expected to grow nine-fold from 2017 to 2022, to represent 4% of overall IP traffic in 2022. Virtual and augmented reality traffic are expected to skyrocket as more consumers and businesses use the technologies. By 2022, virtual and augmented reality traffic are expected to reach 4.02 exabytes/month, up from 0.33 exabytes/month in 2017.

Regional IP traffic growth predictions for the forecast period include:

  • Asia-Pacific (APAC): 173 exabytes/month by 2022, 32% CAGR, four-times growth
  • North America: 108 exabytes/month by 2022, 21% CAGR, three-times growth
  • Western Europe: 50 exabytes/month 2022, 22% CAGR, three-times growth
  • Central and Eastern Europe: 25 exabytes/month by 2022, 26% CAGR, three-times growth
  • Middle East and Africa: 21 exabytes/month by 2022, 41% CAGR, six-times growth
  • Latin America: 19 exabytes/month by 2022, 21% CAGR, three-times growth

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