Cisco: By 2013 Video Will Be 90 Percent Of All Consumer IP Traffic And 64 Percent of Mobile
By 2013, annual global IP traffic will reach two-thirds of azettabyte, according to a recent forecast of IP traffic issued by Cisco. What is a zettabyte? It is a trillion gigabytes!! That number represents more than a fivefold increase in IP traffic from 2009. (See the forecast in the tables here).
What is driving this growth is video. Cisco forecasts that 90 percent of consumer IP traffic (which makes up the majority of total IP traffic) will be video in 2013. Cisco also predicts that mobile data traffic will also be overtaken by video, reaching 64 percent of total mobile IP traffic by 2013. Part of this might be wishful thinking on Cisco’s part, which needs broadband usage growth to continue apace in order to sell its networking gear. But part of it is also the fact that these numbers are based on the percentage of bits traveling over those broadband pipes, and it doesn’t take a lot of fat video files to fill those up.
Cisco is a big believer in the growth of mobile video, expecting it to grow from 33 petabytes a month in 2008 to 2,184 petabytes (or 2 exabytes) a month in 2013, which represents a 131 percent compound annual growth rate. . As impressive as those numbers sound, at that point, mobile data will only make up 4 percent of total IP traffic. (Good thing Apple finally decided to get with the program and add video to its recent releases of the iPhone. In the chart below, you can see how big a role Cisco expects video to play in mobile data traffic. Video is the green part of the bar graphs. Standalone data (dark blue) is also expected to grow quickly.
The devices expected to drive this 131 percent annual growth in mobile data are not so much current 3G mobile handsets, but next-gen “3.5G and above” (in green), as well as laptops and other portable computers (in orange). By 2013, I bet it will be pretty hard to tell the difference between those two segments. Until then, Cisco is offering free apps for the iPhone and Blackberry that lets you check your network speed on the go.
Table 1. Global IP Traffic, 2008-2013
Source: Cisco VNI
Table 1. Mobile Data Traffic 2008-2013