IoT and video will drive IP traffic past 3 zettabytes by 2021: VNI

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Global digital transformation will continue to have a significant impact on the demands and requirements of IP networks over the next few years, as annual IP traffic exceeds 3 zettabytes by 2021, up from an annual run rate of 1.2 zettabytes in 2016, much of it driven by IoT and video.

That’s according to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast, released on Thursday.

Top-level indicators include the projected increase in Internet users (from 3.3 to 4.6 billion or 58% of the global population), greater adoption of personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections (from 17.1 billion to 27.1 billion from 2016- 2021), average broadband speed advances (from 27.5 Mbps to 53 Mbps), and more video viewing (from 73% to 82% of total IP traffic).

Meanwhile, for the first time in the 12 years of the forecast, M2M connections that support Internet of Things (IoT) applications are calculated to be more than half of the total 27.1 billion devices and connections and will account for five% of global IP traffic by 2021. IoT innovations in connected home, connected healthcare, smart cars/transportation and a host of other next-generation M2M services are driving this incremental growth – a 2.4-fold increase from 5.8 billion in 2016 to 13.7 billion by 2021. With the rise of connected applications such as health monitors, medicine dispensers, and first-responder connectivity, the health vertical will be fastest-growing industry segment (30% CAGR). The connected car and connected cities applications will have the second-fastest growth (29% CAGRs, respectively).

Video will continue to dominate IP traffic and overall Internet traffic growth, representing 80% of all Internet traffic by 2021, up from 67% in 2016. Globally, there will be nearly 1.9 billion Internet video users (excluding mobile-only) by 2021, up from 1.4 billion in 2016. The world will reach 3 trillion Internet video minutes per month by 2021, which is five million years of video per month, or about one million video minutes every second.

Emerging mediums such as live Internet video will increase 15-fold and reach 13% of Internet video traffic by 2021 – meaning more streaming of TV apps and personal live streaming on social networks. While live streaming video is reshaping today’s online entertainment patterns, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are also gaining traction. By 2021, VR/AR traffic will increase 20-fold and represent one% of global entertainment traffic.

You’ll find all kinds of numbers here. Meanwhile, here are some key infographic breakouts for Asia-Pacific.

cisco VNI APAC ip traffic
Source: Cisco Systems

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