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The Cisco Visual Networking (VNI) Forecast 2009-2014

The number of statistics that can be gleaned from our annual Visual Networking Index (VNI), released today, is almost as heavy as the Internet it describes. 

A quadrupling of IP traffic by 2014 is a lot to absorb — so in this blog, we plucked out the projections that seem especially relevant for video service providers:

  • It’s all about video: By 2014, the sum of all forms of video will continue to exceed 91% of global consumer Internet traffic.
  • If the world’s online video viewers were all standing in one place, they’d constitute the world’s third-largest country. More than 1 billion people in the world will consume video online by the end of 2010 – meaning that online video partakers are roughly equivalent to the third largest country in the world (behind China and India).
  • Peer to Peer (P2P) isn’t the largest traffic type anymore. Internet video traffic will surpass peer-to-peer traffic by the end of the year – marking the first time that P2P is not the largest Internet traffic type.
  • Face-to-face communications via the Internet will grow sevenfold. Watch for video communications traffic (video via IM, video calling) to increase seven times over between 2009 and 2014, as face-to-face talking becomes an expected communications component — on multiple screens.

  • VoD is on a tear. Video on Demand traffic will double every 2.5 years, through 2014, making it a major contributor to the growth of video, generating 11 exabytes per month by 2014.
  • Bandwidth-hungry HD and 3D video is headed onto the IP pipes. The bandwidth-devouring characteristics of high-definition video is well known to video service providers.  That traffic will transition onto IP plant as well- and the emergence of 3D streams will only impact it more. Specifically: HD and 3D video combined will comprise 46% of total consumer Internet video traffic by 2014; 3D alone is forecast to account for 4% of all Internet video traffic.
  • It’s not just for consumers anymore – business video seeing a rise too. Business video conferencing will grow 10 fold over the forecast period, a rate that is almost three times faster than overall business traffic.

The bottom line? Video, more and more, is becoming synonymous with IP and a part of nearly every major networking experience.

If you’re a video service provider delivering video in IP, or preparing to transition from MPEG to IP, you’re already well-versed in what’s happening with the traffic moving over your fixed or mobile infrastructure. We hope our forecast helps you take the right next steps for your network, business and customers. You can learn more at http://www.cisco.com/go/vni. Please feel free to send inquiries regarding the forecast to traffic-inquiries. For questions regarding online tools and free applications, please write to vni_pulse.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.

65 Comments.


  1. Its nice to see internet traffic surpassing P2P traffic. Well internet video is a lot better than P2P.

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  2. Doug Webster

    Hi Saksham — right, internet video will surpass P2P by the end of this year, according to our forecast — P2P is still growing in aggregate amount of traffic mind you… but just other traffic types such as internet video are growing much much faster.Thanks for reading and hope you find the information useful,Doug

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  3. I guess we knew a massive increase was coming, and companies like Cisco have been planning for it. However I am still amazed by this:By 2014, the sum of all forms of video will continue to exceed 91% of global consumer Internet traffic.”"I thought video would dominate, but over 90% of consumer traffic. Incredible.Video on Demand is a concept I think many have been waiting on.I believe the video sharing websites have given us a taste, we like and we want more as soon as infrastructure can handle it.”

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  4. Hope that overall internet speed can handle that enormous video demand increase, so we can count on a reliable online experience.

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  5. i want to write the exam of ccna … what are all the procedure to write that exam ..

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  6. Looks like its time to jump on the VOD bandwagon then =)Confidential Conversions

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  7. This forecast sounds a bit frightening. I remember to have read somewhere around last year that the increasing bandwith from all sorts of online streaming media is pushing current technology to it’s edge. Sounded as if they had to control the amount you could stream/download in order to not overload the worldwide system. This forecast however doesn’t mention this at all, why is that? Did they find some miracle solution to be able to increase data-transfer to new heights? (first time I heard of exabytes)@Saksham Talwar: internet video is a lot better than P2P”"? If you used P2P before, you knew you could find all sorts of videos in HD as well, so I can’t really make sense of your comment. What is “”internet video”" anyway? Youtube? VoD? Different things in my opinion.”

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  8. But where do the surge in IP come from? Is IP for household devices growing anytime soon?

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  9. This stat also indicate that people of growing nations will get more and more speedy connection and from now blogger and webmaster should take video media seriously to generate big traffic. Thanks for this stat.

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  10. Hi Doug,We study supply and demand curves for search terms from around the world in order to find new trends and we see video and CISCO based upgrades as a strong search area every month. The software at http://www.TheInternetTimeMachine.com can filter out spam sites and dummy sites and legit searches for video feeds and marketing is going gangbusters. Should be good news for Cisco!Curt

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  11. Very interesting statistics, hard to see anything but continuing growth for some time. I wonder at what point the infrastructure providers will demand some sort of contribution from the content providers who will be making most of the big money here?

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  12. I totally agree with all the informations in this post but I think video calling and face-to-face communication are an old-fashioned”" way to communicate between people, except in big company.”

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  13. Wow! Great data! It’s just amazing how fast everything is growing in the last couple of years. Remembering the 90′ – when a new technology came up, I still had about a year or two extra time to upgrade, not being left behind. Now it’s hard to even keep up with all the inovations and exploatations.Thanks for the wonderful insight!

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  14. A detail and great plan here, the right guide of the development.

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  15. I use video in most of my IM calls both business and personal, and the experience is much better. I’m not surprised at the projected video growth the slightest.John,Personal Loans

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  16. That was really supurb interpretation. But Video on Demand traffic will double every 2.5 years”" may not be true. I feel the present growth statistics indicate there is a huge demand for videos. The indicated figures will be met very soon before 2014.”

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  17. in my country internet video is very low in connection..

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  18. So in consequence the news about the guys from G testing high speed connections and if there is any use for them (from the software side) might give a good result(more speed)?

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  19. @Nathan Rodriguez – I agree with your point of Bandwidth usage when viewing Video online. Is this survey related to only USA market? Do you think that Asian counties would have enough infrastructure in place in order to use Videos”" in the business envi

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  20. s this survey related to only USA market? Do you think that Asian counties would have enough infrastructure in place in order to use “Videos” in the business environment effectively?

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  21. Doug Webster

    Haro, You’re welcome! Thanks for reading,Doug

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  22. Doug Webster

    Alaje,the forecast is based on third party subscription growth forecasts that we translate to yield the overall effect on the network — those subscription growth forecasts to factor in things you’re talking about so we’re covered on that front. You can find out more about the methodology of the study at http://www.cisco.com/go/vni and you can learn more of some of the technology Cisco is innovating to help enable providers to thrive at http://www.cisco.com/go/possibleThanks for the comment and for reading,Doug

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  23. Doug Webster

    Ryan,Our research is showing that not only is the trend showcasing video but also that consumer expectations are increasing to where they want it
    ow”" — that’s where VOD comes into play.If you look at cable and IPTV offerings, more and more of their focus is “”on demand”" (in fact my 8 year old depends on it for his favorite cartoon…! so if we look at a sample size of just my family the growth rate would be even higher!)Thanks for the feedback and for reading,Doug”

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  24. Doug Webster

    Hi Bharat, There is a big interest in addresses — that’s really behind the increased urgency in transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6.Thanks for the comment,Doug

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  25. Interesting post,I enjoyed article and thank for this information.

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  26. Doug Webster

    John — thanks for the feedback,Doug

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  27. I think webtv is the future of the internet! P2P will fade away quickly if ISPs and TV providers learn with the past mistakes

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  28. I have been told video is becoming more and more important to converting customers.Nice to see it backed up here in print.Jay JettyCarpet Cleaning PahrumpCarpet Cleaning Las Vegas

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  29. We’re seeing a massive demand in our websites for live video from our users, mainly single people looking for dating, which we didn’t think would see much growth at all. Although it’s definitely not HD at the moment.I also hadn’t realised 3D had progressed so quickly either.

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  30. Doug Webster

    Hi Grant,I agree and fortunately the technology is continuing to evolve to handle more and more traffic — especially that driven by video — and to do it more efficiently, which is key for service provider profitability. The CRS-3 which we introduced in March is one great example of that, and I’m sure there are other highlights in the industry that can help make that case.Thanks for the comment,Doug

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  31. @Michelle – I think some Asian countries have the ability to use videos in the business environment but list of those countries which does not have infrastructure like this will really fell problems. I also want to ask a question, what about African count

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  32. When you are talking about Vod — html5 or flash?

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  33. Just got interesting buddies. Acnezine, IPv6 has been playing already within our premises so you should not be worrying about that anymore…

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  34. Doug Webster

    Hi Michelle,No — this survey is a global one but it does have regional or even country breakouts – the VNI widget which you can get to at http://www.cisco.com/go/vni allows you to customize your view and see the differences between regions.I do think that Asian countries and really all countries will have enough bandwidth to meet demand — service providers (with the exception of some PTTs) are afterall a business and will rise to supply the very thing that their customers are demanding.Thanks for the feedback!Doug

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  35. Judging by success of websites like Youtube and Hulu video traffic has nowhere to go but up. And, of course, it will become the dominant part of overall traffic. Hope you guys could keep up with a hardware ;)

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  36. Doug Webster

    Hi Fabien,I don’t know that I agree with you — face-to-face”" communications, even if virtual, allow for a better understanding of the context and intent — it’s easier to understand body language, their mood, etc. and as a result yields more effective communication. Email — or blogs for the matter — are good as well and permit dialogue that is off cycle or assymmetrical, but I do believe there is value in real-time communications… and the better I can see with whom I am communicating the better!Just my opinion… thanks for the comment,Doug”

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  37. That is an incredible amount of traffic predicted. I can imagine with so many busineses getting online in the past 8 years and how it will grow. Congrats to Cisco keeping up with it all.

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  38. Unbelievable to think it will grow fourfold. So what about in 10 years? Tenfold? When second-tier countries start increasing their users, the traffic is going to be mind boggling.Ed

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  39. Video on Demand is a concept I think many have been waiting on. Im from Germany …

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  40. Doug Webster

    hi Irma,yes — certain countries are more developed in their broadband infrastructure than others… in fact, using the US as an example, some parts of the same country are more developed than others!This points to the average trend over the next half decade — no question there will be some regions leading and others trailing.Thanks for hte comment,Doug

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  41. Doug Webster

    Dec,I think you bring up a good point — business models for both the service providers and content providers will continue to evolve — such evolution is likely needed to keep up with rising demand. If so, there could be a win-win situation for all (including consumers like you and me)thanks for the comment,Doug

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  42. Doug Webster

    afluna11, Hop aboard!Thanks for the comment,Doug

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  43. As the video demand increase rapidly in all countries, the providers are looking for the effective technology to provide that. Very interesting data.

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  44. Doug Webster

    Hi Nathan,yes — we’re seeing investment from providers worldwide, but I agree the key will be to have their deployments done in advance to keep ahead of the rising demand vs. fall behind on it, which would likely yield some experience/quality issues.Thanks for the comment,Doug

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  45. Doug Webster

    Arafat,You’re welcome! Glad you found the information helpful.Thanks for letting us know,Doug

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  46. Thomas Barnett, Jr.

    Lots of good comments… @Jim Strutzin — please note that our forcast actually ranks Latin America as the fastest growing region in the world over this forecast period (2009 – 2014). To put it in a bit better perspective, it would take 3 months to watch the amount of video that will cross the LATAM network every second in 2014.

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  47. My apologies if this question is too simple, but isn’t it possible to use P2P technology for video too?Chatroulette uses P2P technology, for example.

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  48. I think, the connection speed in several countries too slow. So it could be a vital fact.

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  49. It is evident that sitting in front of your computer is going to require that your dressed in appropriate clothing! I see video channel social network coming very soon. I hope we are ready for them.

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  50. Doug,This is a significant and fast landscape shift for video. And increasingly a lot of it will hit the mobile infrastructure. I think AT&T’s recent move to tiered pricing will be a problem because as more video is present via the mobile browser, the 2GB data limit on AT&Ts; top tier plan will get eaten up pretty fast. Operators are going to have to seriously upgrade their backhaul equipment to accomodate this massive shift to video. Would you agree? It’s not just about getting more spectrum. How is Cisco poised to help?

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  51. I’ve been reading a lot of interesting things about Cisco lately.There’s a lot of talk that HP is going to try to get into your territory. You’ll hold them off, though!Keep up the good work!

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  52. Wow, that is impressive. The video demand over 90% is amazing. I wonder how it will change social media sights like Twitter and Facebook?

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  53. Honestly doubt the UK would have the infrastructure to even handle any of this.

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  54. This is very useful..Thanks for the post!

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  55. In my country internet video is still a far fetched dream as basic world class internet infrastructure is still under developed.

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  56. Thank you Mr. Talwar, This is very useful information for me and my business. You may also be interested on this online marketing website.

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  57. I have thought same also about the www. I think there will be a great panic not only of ip addresses but also with domains. As more and more people are moving towars internet. This is an big issue for sure.

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  58. Thomas Barnett, Jr.

    Hi Randy,Yes, we agree that mobile data growth will require more than just expanded spectrum (radio frequencies). While the number of mobile users is significant, it’s what those users are doing on the network that is driving exponential growth (i.e., video/data). Cisco does offer next-gen mobile backhaul solutions to help service providers address evolving mobile user behaviors and service expectations (see http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns675/networking_solutions_solution_category.html)

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  59. Karen Snell

    More info on VNI — Live at 1 PM PT June 8 — Talk2Cisco with Robert Pepper — Demand for Broadband — http://www.ustream.tv/channel/talk2cisco

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  60. Your article is extremely impressive.In my opinion sometime on the future video streaming user will surpass tv users, because video streaming is more convenience you can watch whatever you want to watch and whenever you want to watch.

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  61. I heard a comment made recently that YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world and since it is owned by Google it stands to reason that video has a major part to play in the future of business.

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  62. Mexico and South America for the past 3 years after living in areas, I have witnessed an explosive growth of internet penetration still low 30 percent range statistics show the area. Spanish is currently growing at an exponential number of websites.

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  63. I agree with @irma.In my country internet video has very low connection too. I hate this situation.

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  64. This is very true! I work for an internet company in Eagle Mountain and we do video conferences with our whole company quite regularly. Also, think of how much more knowledge can be taken in from watching a video about how to do something then if one where to just read an article about it. So much information is now available to us!”

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  65. I use video in most of my im call both business and personal, and the experience is much better. I’m not surprised at the projected video growth the slightest.

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