June 13, 2017 —
Driven by M2M and video, global digital traffic will increase three-fold exceeding 3 zettabytes by 2021, placing substantial demands on IP networks, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast.
Top-level indicators include the projected increase in Internet users—from 3.3 to 4.6 billion or 58 percent 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 53.0 Mbps, and more video viewing—from 73 percent to 82 percent of total IP traffic.
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 percent 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 care will be fastest-growing industry segment (30 percent CAGR). The connected car and connected cities applications will have the second-fastest growth (29 percent CAGRs respectively).
Video will continue to dominate IP traffic and overall internet traffic growth—representing 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2021, up from 67 percent 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 three 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 percent 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 percent of global entertainment traffic.
· Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices will generate 73 percent of Internet traffic by 2021
· 2021 Internet access percentages – Wi-Fi: 53 percent; cellular: 20 percent; fixed: 27 percent
· 2016 Internet access percentages – Wi-Fi = 52 percent; cellular: 10 percent; fixed: 38 percent
· Globally, total public W-Fi hotspots (including homes) will grow six-fold from 2016 to 2021 from 94 million in 2016 to 541.6 million by 2021.
The Cisco VNI Complete Forecast for 2016 to 2021 relies upon independent analyst forecasts and real-world network usage data. Upon this foundation are layered Cisco’s own estimates for global IP traffic and service adoption.