Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2012–2017

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 30, 2013

This forecast is part of the Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI), an ongoing initiative to track and forecast the impact of visual networking applications. This document presents the details of the Cisco VNI global IP traffic forecast and the methodology behind it. For a more analytical look at the implications of the data presented in this paper, please refer to the companion document, The Zettabyte Era-Trends and Analysis, or the VNI Forecast Highlights tool. Executive Summary - Annual global IP traffic will surpass the zettabyte threshold (1.4 zettabytes) by the end of 2017. In 2017, global IP traffic will reach 1.4 zettabytes per year, or 120.6 exabytes per month. Global IP traffic will reach 1.0 zettabytes per year or 83.8 exabytes per month in 2015. Global IP traffic has increased more than fourfold in the past 5 years, and will increase threefold over the next 5 years. Overall, IP traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 percent from 2012 to 2017. Busy hour Internet traffic is growing more rapidly than average Internet traffic. Busy hour Internet traffic increased 41 percent in 2012, compared to 34 percent growth in average traffic. Busy-hour Internet traffic will increase by a factor of 3.5 between 2012 and 2017, while average Internet traffic will increase 2.9-fold. Busy-hour Internet traffic will reach 865 Tbps in 2017, the equivalent of 720 million people streaming a high-definition video continuously. Metro traffic will surpass long-haul traffic in 2014, and will account for 58 percent of total IP traffic by 2017. Metro traffic will grow nearly twice as fast as long-haul traffic from 2012 to 2017. The higher growth in metro networks is due in part to the increasingly significant role of content delivery networks, which bypass long-haul links and deliver traffic to metro and regional backbones. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) will carry over half of Internet traffic in 2017. 51 percent of all Internet traffic will cross content delivery networks in 2017 globally, up from 34 percent in 2012. Nearly half of all IP traffic will originate with non-PC devices by 2017. In 2012, only 26 percent of consumer IP traffic originated with non-PC devices, but by 2017 the non-PC share of consumer IP traffic will grow to 49 percent. PC-originated traffic will grow at a CAGR of 14 percent, while TVs, tablets, mobile phones, and machine-to-machine (M2M) modules will have traffic growth rates of 24 percent, 104 percent, 79 percent, and 82 percent, respectively.”

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