According to the latest findings from Cisco Visual Networking Index, in 2013, just 33 percent of IP traffic originated with non-PC devices. However, by 2018, the non-PC share of IP traffic will grow to 57 percent. Moreover, commercial mobile location-based services will be the fastest growing application -- with a 24.9 percent CAGR -- during the forecast period.
PC-originated traffic will grow at a 10 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), while other devices or connections will have higher traffic growth rates over the forecast period -- including TVs (18 percent), tablets (74 percent), smartphones (64 percent) and M2M connections (84 percent).
According to Cisco's assessment, global IP traffic will increase nearly three-fold over the next five years due to more Internet users and devices, faster broadband speeds and more video viewing.
Key Internet Application Growth Trends
Global IP traffic for fixed and mobile connections is expected to reach an annual run rate of 1.6 zettabytes -- more than one and a half trillion gigabytes per year by 2018. The projected annual IP traffic for 2018 will be greater than all IP traffic that has been generated globally from 1984 – 2013 (1.3 zettabytes).
The composition of IP traffic will shift dramatically in the coming few years. As an example, Wi-Fi traffic will exceed wired traffic for the first time and high-definition (HD) video will generate more traffic than standard definition (SD) video.
The Internet of Everything is also gaining momentum and by 2018 there will be nearly as many machine-to-machine (M2M) connections as there are people on earth. Smart cars will have nearly four M2M modules per car.
Traffic originating in metro networks surpassed traffic traversing long-haul links in 2013. Metro traffic will grow nearly twice as fast as long-haul traffic from 2013 to 2018. This growth is due in part to content delivery networks, which will carry more than half of total Internet traffic by 2018.
Key Regional and Country Growth Projections
- The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region will generate the most IP traffic by 2018, with 47.6 exabytes (36 percent of the global IP traffic) per month. With the world's largest population and the most devices/connections, APAC's increased network usage will maintain its position as the top traffic-generating region through 2018.
- The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region will continue to be the fastest growing IP traffic region from 2013 – 2018 with a five-fold growth and a 38 percent CAGR.
- By 2018, the highest traffic-generating countries will be the United States with 37 exabytes per month and China with 18 exabytes per month.
- The countries with the fastest IP traffic growth will be India with a 39 percent CAGR from 2013 to 2018, followed by Indonesia with a 37 percent CAGR.
The Cisco VNI Global Forecast and Service Adoption for 2013 to 2018 rely upon independent analyst forecasts and real-world mobile data usage studies. Upon this foundation are layered Cisco's own estimates for global IP traffic and service adoption.
Cisco also publishes the highly regarded Global Cloud Index. That in-depth market study has produced some equally thought-provoking insights. It's forecast that as more workloads transition to Open Hybrid Clouds, rapidly increasing cloud-related traffic will dominate data centers around the globe.