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Evolving Outlook for the Global Networked Economy

Worldwide, public internet traffic characteristics will continue to evolve. According to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, the annual Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will triple between 2014 and 2019, when it will reach a record 2 zettabytes.

By 2019, more than 14 percent of monthly global IP traffic will come from cellular mobile connections and 53 percent of monthly IP traffic will come from Wi-Fi connections -- that's 67 percent of the total monthly IP traffic.

Cisco now predicts that global IP traffic will reach 168 exabytes per month by 2019 -- that's up from 59.9 exabytes per month in 2014. In 2019, nearly as much traffic will traverse global IP networks than all prior Internet-years combined.

"It took 32 years -- from 1984 to 2016 -- to generate the first zettabyte of IP traffic annually. However, as this year’s VNI forecasts, it will take only three additional years to reach the next zettabyte milestone when there will be more than 2 zettabytes of IP Traffic annually by 2019," said Doug Webster, vice president at Cisco.


Factors expected to drive traffic growth include global increases in Internet users, personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, faster broadband speeds, and the adoption of advanced video services.

Collectively, these variables are expected to create a global IP traffic compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 percent -- the first global CAGR increase in consecutive VNI forecasts in nearly a decade.

As fixed and mobile networks grow and expand, more people will have network and Internet access. In 2014, there were 2.8 billion Internet users, or 39 percent of the world’s population of 7.2 billion. By 2019, there will be about 3.9 billion Internet users, or 51 percent of the world’s projected population of 7.6 billion.

By 2019, more than 14 percent of monthly IP traffic will derive from cellular connections, and 53 percent of monthly IP traffic will come from Wi-Fi connections globally, making differentiated and monetizable mobile strategies more important for all service providers.

Regional and  Country IP Traffic Projections
  • APAC: 54.4 exabytes/month by 2019, 21 percent CAGR, 2.6-fold growth.
  • North America: 49.7 exabytes/month by 2019, 20 percent CAGR, 2.5-fold growth.
  • Western Europe: 24.7 exabytes/month 2019, 21 percent CAGR, 2.6-fold growth.
  • Central Europe: 16.9 exabytes/month by 2019, 33 percent CAGR, 4.1-fold growth.
  • Latin America: 12.9 exabytes/month by 2019, 25 percent CAGR, 3-fold growth.
  • Middle East and Africa: 9.4 exabytes/month by 2019, 44 percent CAGR, 6.3-fold growth.
  • By 2019, the highest traffic-generating countries will be the U.S. (45.7 exabytes/month) and China (21.9 exabytes/month).
  • South Africa and Saudi Arabia will have the highest IP traffic growth rate with a 44 percent CAGR from 2014 to 2019. Following will be Indonesia (36 percent CAGR) and India (33 percent CAGR) over the forecast period.

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