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New Internet Apps Drive Digital Transformation Investment

Across the globe, increased Internet use will fuel new growth in the Global Networked Economy. Mobile Internet users will create new demands and expectations for mobile networking infrastructure. This ongoing growth trend is highlighted by the adoption and use of mobile applications (apps).

Meanwhile, enterprise C-suite leadership teams contemplate digital transformation agendas that are enabled by the significant new technology investments by telecom network service providers. That, in turn, will drive accelerated enterprise investment in business technology-based innovations. 

Executive Summaries for Digital Transformation

Fifth-generation (5G) wireless communications will support more than 10 percent of the world’s mobile connections by 2023, according to the latest Cisco Annual Internet Report. The average 5G speed will be 575 megabits per second or 13 times faster than the average mobile connection.

With advanced performance capabilities, 5G will deliver more dynamic mobile communication infrastructures for artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging internet of things (IoT) applications -- including autonomous cars, smart cities, connected health, immersive video and more.

For the past 50 years, each decade introduced a new mobile infrastructure technology with cutting-edge innovations. Mobile bandwidth requirements have evolved from voice calls and texting to ultra-high-definition (UHD) video and a variety of augmented reality or virtual reality (AR/VR) applications.

Social networking, video streaming and downloads, business productivity, e-commerce and gaming will drive the continued growth of mobile applications with nearly 300 billion downloaded by 2023.

"What we are seeing from our research is a continuous rise in internet users, devices, connections, and more demand on the network than we could have imagined," said Roland Acra, senior vice president and CTO at Cisco.

​The 'Cisco Annual Internet Report' covers mobile, Wi-Fi and fixed broadband networking with quantitative projections on the growth of users, devices and connections as well as network performance and relevant trends over a five-year forecast period (2018 – 2023).


Global Mobile and Internet User Projections by 2023
  • More than 70 percent of the global population (5.7 billion people) will have mobile connectivity (2G, 3G, 4G or 5G).
  • 66 percent of the global population (5.3 billion people) will be internet users.

Global Devices and Connections Projections by 2023
  • There will be 3.6 networked devices/connections per person and nearly 10 devices and connections per household.
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of all devices and connections will be video capable.
  • Machine-to-machine (M2M) connections that support a broad range of IoT applications will represent about 50 percent (14.7 billion) of total global devices and connections.

Global Mobile Projections by 2023
  • 45 percent of all networked devices will be mobile-connected (3G and below, 4G, 5G or Low Power Wide Area [LPWA]) and 55 percent will be wired or connected over Wi-Fi.
  • Global 5G connections will be 10.6 percent of total mobile connections, compared to zero percent in 2018.
  • By 2023, global LPWA connections will be 14.4 percent of total mobile connections, compared to 2.5 percent in 2018.

Global Wi-Fi Projections by 2023
  • Global Wi-Fi hotspots will grow four-fold from 2018 to 2023. There will be nearly 628 million global public Wi-Fi hotspots, up from 169 million in 2018.
  • Global Wi-Fi6 hotspots will grow 13-fold from 2020 to 2023 and will be 11 percent of all public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Global Network Performance Projections by 2023

  • Average global mobile connection speeds will more than triple from 13 Mbps (2018) to 44 Mbps (2023).
  • Average global Wi-Fi connection speeds will more than triple from 30 Mbps (2018) to 92 Mbps (2023).
  • Average global fixed broadband speeds will more than double from 46 Mbps (2018) to 110 Mbps (2023).

Global Cybersecurity Trends from 2018 to 2019

  • Globally, the frequency of DDoS attacks increased by 39 percent.
  • Globally, the peak attack size increased by 63 percent.
  • The average DDoS attack size is 1 Gbps (23 percent of attacks are greater than 1 Gbps); there have been 776 percent growth in attacks between 100 Gbps and 400 Gbps.


In summary, the Cisco Annual Internet Report is a global, regional and country-level forecast with an analysis that assesses digital transformation and is developed by the same analyst team that created the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast. This new report offers numerous insights to help organizations anticipate the trends that shape investment in digital business research and development.

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