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Exploring the Latest Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast

Global IP traffic (fixed and mobile) is expected to reach an annual run rate of 1.4 zettabytes -- more than a trillion gigabytes per year -- by 2017. On a monthly basis, global IP traffic is expected to reach nearly 121 exabytes per month by 2017, that's up from about 44 exabytes per month in 2012.

This updated study includes global fixed IP traffic growth and service adoption trends, complementing the VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast released earlier this year.

"Cisco's VNI Forecast once again showcases the seemingly insatiable demand for bandwidth around the globe and provides insights on the architectural considerations necessary to deliver on the ever-increasing experiences being delivered. With more and more people, things, processes and data being connected in the Internet of Everything, the intelligent network and the service providers who operate them are more relevant than ever," said Doug Webster, vice president of product and solutions marketing, Cisco.

Global IP Traffic Projections and Analysis

By 2017, annual global IP traffic will reach 1.4 zettabytes (23% CAGR from 2012 to 2017). – A zettabyte is equal to a sextillion bytes.

By 2017, more traffic will traverse global networks than all prior "Internet years" combined:

1984 – 2012: 1.2 zettabytes

2017 Forecast: 1.4 zettabytes

"Busy hour" Internet traffic, (hours of the day during which traffic is highest), is increasing faster than average Internet traffic. Busy hour Internet traffic increased 41% in 2012, compared to 34% growth in average traffic.

Metro traffic will surpass long-haul traffic in 2014, and will account for 58% of total IP traffic by 2017. Metro traffic will grow nearly twice as fast as long-haul traffic from 2012 to 2017.Content delivery networks (CDNs) will carry over half of total Internet traffic by 2017.

Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices will generate 68% of Internet traffic by 2017.

Nearly half of total IP traffic will originate with non-PC devices (including tablets, smartphones, and televisions) by 2017.

Standout IP Networking Trends

Fixed/Wi-Fi traffic will grow at a CAGR of 26% between 2012 and 2017, compared to a 16% CAGR for fixed/wired traffic

Globally, the average household had 4.7 devices / connections (including M2M) in 2012; the average household will have 7.1 devices / connections (including M2M) by 2017 (an 8.8% CAGR).

Globally, there will be 8 billion IPv6-capable fixed & mobile devices/connections in 2017, up from 1.6 billion in 2012 (38% CAGR).

Globally, 42% of all fixed & mobile networked devices/connections will be IPv6-capable in 2017, up from 14% in 2012.

Regional & Country IP Traffic Projections

Asia-Pacific (APAC) will generate the most IP traffic by 2017 (43.4 exabytes/month), maintaining its leadership from last year.

The Middle East and Africa will continue to be the fastest growing IP traffic region from 2012 – 2017 (5-fold growth, 38% CAGR over the forecast period); MEA was the fastest growing region last year as well (10-fold growth, 57% CAGR for the 2011 – 2016 forecast period) in this category.

By 2017, the highest traffic-generating countries will be the United States (37 exabytes per month) and China (18 exabytes per month).

For fastest growing IP traffic at the country-level, India will have the highest IP traffic growth rate with a 44% CAGR from 2012 – 2017. Second is Indonesia (42% CAGR) and third is South Africa (31% CAGR) over the forecast period.

Regional IP Traffic Growth Breakouts

APAC: 43.4 exabytes/month by 2017, 26% CAGR, 3-fold growth

North America: 40.7 exabytes/month by 2017, 26% CAGR, 3-fold growth

Western Europe: 24.3 exabytes/month 2017, 17% CAGR, 2-fold growth

Central Europe: 8.8 exabytes/month by 2017, 21% CAGR, 3-fold growth

Latin America: 7.4 exabytes/month by 2017, 17% CAGR, 2-fold growth

Middle East and Africa: 3.5 exabytes/month by 2017, 38% CAGR, 5-fold growth

For the full market study findings, visit Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI)

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