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Global internet traffic to quadruple by 2015

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The number of network-connected devices worldwide will exceed 15 billion by 2015 – twice the world’s population, according to Cisco’s fifth annual Visual Networking Index Forecast.

The report predicts that the total amount of global internet traffic will quadruple between 2010 and 2015 and reach 966 exabytes per year (equal to 966 billion gigabytes). The projected increase in internet traffic between 2014 and 2015 alone is 200 exabytes, which is greater than the total amount of IP traffic generated globally in 2010.

Global IP traffic growth is being driven by four factors, according to Cisco: an increasing number of devices, such as tablets, smart phones, connected appliances and other smart machines; more internet users, as the total number worldwide is expected to reach nearly three billion by 2015 (more than 40 per cent of the world’s projected population); faster broadband speeds, with average speeds expected to increase four-fold from 7 Mbps in 2010 to 28 Mbps in 2015; and more video, with one million video minutes predicted to traverse the internet every second by 2015.

By 2015, global IP traffic is expected to reach 80.5 exabytes per month by 2015, up from approximately 20.2 exabytes in 2010. Average global IP traffic in 2015 is expected to reach 245 terabytes per second (equal to 245,000 gigabytes), equivalent to 200 million people streaming an HD movie at 1.2 Mbps simultaneously every day. The global online video community is expected to increase by approximately 500mn users by 2015, up from more than one billion internet video users in 2010.

The Asia Pacific region will generate the most IP traffic by 2015 (24.1 exabytes per month), according to the report, surpassing last year’s leader, North America (22.3 exabytes per month). The fastest-growing IP traffic regions for the forecast period are the Middle East and Africa, which is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 52 per cent over the next five years.

There is also expected to be a substantial change in the types of devices accessing the internet over the period: in 2010, PCs generated 97 per cent of consumer internet traffic, however this is predicted to fall to 87 per cent by 2015, as consumers continue to adopt devices such as tablets, smartphones and Connected TVs for accessing the internet.

Accessing the internet on web-enabled TVs is continuing to grow, according to Cisco, which predicts that by 2015, 10 per cent of global consumer internet traffic and 18 per cent of internet video traffic will be consumed via TVs.

Global advanced video traffic, which includes 3DTV and HDTV, is projected to grow 14-fold between 2010 and 2015. Global mobile internet data traffic meanwhile is expected to increase 26-fold over the period, reaching 6.3 exabytes per month (or 75 exabytes annually).

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