Think about what is going on in the APJC Mobile Market for a minute:
In Korea, mobile data traffic on 2G, 3G, and 4G networks increased approximately 70% between 3Q 2012 and 3Q 2013.
In China, mobile data traffic of China’s top 3 mobile operators grew 90% in 2012 and 72% from mid-2012 to mid-2013.
In Japan, mobile data traffic grew 92% in 2012 and 66% from 3Q 2012 to 3Q 2013, according to Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
While in India, Bharti Airtel reported mobile data traffic growth of 112% between 3Q 2012 and 3Q 2013 and Reliance Communications reported mobile data traffic growth of 116% between 3Q 2012 and 3Q 2013.
Today’s networks are an essential part of business, education, government, and home communications. Many residential, business, and mobile Internet Protocol (IP) networking trends are being driven largely by the combination of video, social networking, and advanced collaboration applications, termed “visual networking.” In fact, total Internet traffic has experienced dramatic growth in the past decade alone. Take a look at this interactive infographic from Cisco that shows key trends and forecasts the growth of global IP traffic from 2013 to 2018. You can choose a category and filter the geographic regions in the map to view the impact of global IP traffic. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI), globally, there will be 20.6 billion networked devices by 2018, up from 12.4 billion in 2013. VNI is part of Cisco’s ongoing effort to forecast and analyze the growth and use of IP networks worldwide. VNI also forecasts that global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will increase nearly three-fold over the next five years due to more Internet users and devices, faster broadband speeds and increased video viewing. Global IP traffic for fixed and mobile connections is expected to reach an annual run rate of 1.6 zettabytes – more than one and a half trillion gigabytes per year by 2018.
So who and what are responsible for the projected increase in overall internet traffic?
For those that are not closely involved with IPv6, it may seem like the emphasis on migration to the new addressing scheme is waning. But while the hue and cry over IPv6 may appear to have quieted down to a background noise since 2010-2011; a closer inspection would prove that perception to be quite false.
What is IPv6 and why does it even matter? Simply put, when a device is on the Internet, it has its own specific address that it uses to communicate with other devices and the Internet and to define its location. With the non-stop growth of devices connecting to the Internet and the “Internet of Everything” (IoE) becoming a reality, the need for unique addresses for each personal device and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections has increased exponentially. To put this in perspective, the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) 2013-2018 forecast estimates that there will be about 4 billion Internet users by 2018, which is 52% of the world’s projected population (7.6 billion people). And for every person on the Earth in 2018, there will be about 3 global Internet connections — that’s more than 21 billion devices/connections by 2018.The current communication and address format IPv4 was just not equipped for this explosive growth of devices and connections and the need to define addresses for each device. Hence the need for a new communication protocol, IPv6.
Today, Cisco released the updated VNI Global IP Traffic and Service Adoption Forecasts, 2013 – 2018 (see media release). The key drivers of global IP traffic growth (network users, devices/connections, broadband speeds, and video consumption) continue to show increases that will create a greater global demand for IP network resources:
By 2018, there will be nearly four billion global Internet users (about 52% of the world’s population), up from 2.5 billion in 2013
By 2018, there will be 21 billion networked devices and connections globally, up from 12 billion in 2013
Globally, the average fixed broadband connection speed will increase 2.6-fold, from 16 Mbps in 2013 to 42 Mbps by 2018
Globally, IP video will represent 79% of all traffic by 2018, up from 66% in 2013
As a result of these fundamentals, we are projecting that global IP traffic will grow three-fold from 2013 to 2018 --reaching 1.6 Zettabytes annually by 2018 (a 21% CAGR over the forecast period).