Cisco: Internet traffic to quadruple by 2015

The number of network-connected devices around the world will hit more than 15 billion by 2015, forcing Internet traffic to quadruple to 966 exabytes per year, says Cisco.

The amount of Internet traffic crisscrossing the world will quadruple by 2015 as the number of networked devices surpasses 15 billion, according to a report out today from Cisco.

Releasing its fifth annual Visual Networking Index Forecast today, the networking giant forecast that global Internet traffic will reach 966 exabytes a year in just four years. One exabyte equals 1 million terabytes, 1 billion gigabytes, or about 250 million DVDs.

Per month, global IP traffic will hit 80.5 exabytes by 2015, up from about 20.2 exabytes per month in 2010. And per second, traffic will hit 245 terabytes, the equivalent of about 62,500 DVDs.

The increase alone in global traffic between 2014 and 2015 will be 200 exabytes, more than the total amount of all IP-based traffic seen last year.


The dramatic jump in Internet traffic will occur as a result of four key factors, Cisco says.

  1. More devices. Driven by demand for mobile phones, tablets, smart appliances, and other connected gadgets, the number of Internet-connected devices will be twice the number of people on the planet in another four years.
  2. More people. By 2015, almost 3 billion people will be surfing the Net, more than 40 percent of the world's total population.
  3. Faster speeds. The average broadband speed is expected to jump to 28 megabits per second in 2015, up from 7 Mbps now.
  4. More videos. In another four years, 1 million minutes of video, or 764 days' worth, will cross the Internet every second.

Computers accounted for 97 percent of all traffic last year. That number will drop to 87 percent by 2015, as more mobile devices hop online. As a result, mobile Internet traffic around the world will jump 26 times, to 75 exabytes per year or 6.3 exabytes per month in 2015.

The number of people accessing online video will increase by about 500 million users in another four years. Web-enabled TVs will also scoop up their share of more data, according to Cisco, accounting for 10 percent of all consumer Internet traffic and 18 percent of online video traffic by 2015.

The video below explains Cisco's report on the surge in Internet traffic over the coming years.

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