Cisco predicts global IP traffic to grow over 3X from 2017-2022

If you ever wanted reassurance that data networking is a good career choice, then look at Cisco’s prediction that IP traffic will grow by 3x from 2017 to 2022. I have seen a bandwidth explosion in recent years as part of my day to day work. Social media, video streaming, big data storage and gaming are but a few applications that are driving this demand. I believe Cisco’s outlook based on new and exciting developments that are just over the horizon. 5G networking will itself drive demand, but this is also a key enabler to trigger growth in the Internet of Things (IoT). 5G will enable autonomous vehicles to communicate effectively. Bandwidth growth driven by 8K TV, HD VR and UHD VR is predicted soon. So even if networking infrastructure is not your thing, there are opportunities in IoT, mobile development and all other applications driving this demand.

Let’s take a closer look at Cisco’s analysis.

Global IP traffic across public and private networks is expected to reach 396 exabytes per month by 2022, up from 122 exabytes per month in 2017, according to Cisco’s newly updated Visual Networking Index (VNI). Essentially, global IP traffic will triple in the 5-year period driven by more users, devices, higher resolution video and other trends.

“Since we first started the VNI Forecast in 2005,traffic has increased 56-fold, amassing a 36 percent CAGR with more people,devices and applications accessing IP networks,” said Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider Business, Cisco. “Global service providers are focused on transforming their networks to better manage and route traffic, while delivering premium experiences. Our ongoing research helps us gain and share valuable insights into technology and architectural transitions our customers must make to succeed.”

Here are some highlights from Cisco’s latest VNI.

  • By 2022, there will be 28.5 billion fixed and mobile personal devices and connections, up from 18 billion in 2017—or 3.6 networked devices/connections per person, from 2.4 per person.
  • More than half of all devices and connections will be machine-to-machine by 2022, up from 34 percent in 2017.
  • By 2022, Average global fixed broadband speeds will nearly double from 39.0 Mbps to 75.4 Mbps.
  • Average global Wi-Fi connection speeds will more than double from 24.4 Mbps to 54.0 Mbps.
  • Average global mobile connection speeds will more than triple from 8.7 Mbps to 28.5 Mbps.
  • IP video traffic will quadruple by 2022. As a result, it will make up an even larger percentage of total IP traffic than before—up to 82 percent from 75 percent.
  • Gaming traffic is expected to grow nine-fold from 2017 to 2022. It will represent four percent of overall IP traffic in 2022.
  • Virtual and augmented reality traffic will sky rocket as more consumers and businesses use the technologies. By 2022,virtual and augmented reality traffic will reach 4.02 exabytes/month, up from 0.33 exabytes/month in 2017.

Bandwidth growth is summarized below:

Cisco's bandwidth growth precondition from 2017 to 2022

The report goes onto break down the traffic increase per region. The graph below shows the summary of growth per region.

Cisco's bandwidth growth prediction per region from 2017 to 2022

If you want to explore Cisco’s report in more detail, then follow the link below. It offers a deep dive into the application driving demand.

Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends, 2017–2022

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