Michael Carroll and John C. Tanner
30 Jun 2010
Demand for video services will fuel a fourfold increase in global internet traffic by 2014 and drive the need for operators to shift to a flexible cloud-based business model, according to Cisco Systems.
The infrastructure provider's annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts total global web traffic will hit 766.8 exabytes by 2014 - equivalent to the data on 16 billion DVDs - with the increasing popularity of HD and 3D TV services driving the bulk of the growth.
That's an increase of 4.3x from 2009 levels, although the projected CAGR growth rate of 34% is lower than the 40% CAGR that Cisco forecast in last year's VNI. The index predicts that global video traffic will not only account for 91% of consumer IP traffic by 2014, but also exceed P2P traffic - the largest source of traffic for the last ten years - before the end of this year.
File sharing traffic is projected to reach 11 exabytes per month in 2014, with global business IP traffic hitting 7.7 exabytes per month, and mobile data 3.5 exabytes.
Operators in North America will need to be best prepared, with Cisco forecasting the region will generate 19 exabytes of IP traffic per month by 2014. Asia Pacific follows with 17.4 exabytes, Western Europe with 16.2 exabytes and Japan with 4.3 exabytes.
Web usage is also set to get more leisure-oriented, with Cisco forecasting consumer demand will account for 87% of global IP traffic per month in 2014, compared to 79% in 2009. Meanwhile, the proportion taken by business use will fall from 21% last year to 13% by 2014.