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Going Big: Zettabytes and the NBA Finals

Things are heating up. The Oklahoma City Thunder are heading to the NBA Finals, and global IP traffic is heading into the zettabytes.

Is there a connection between these two developments? Absolutely. And if you’re following the NBA on a mobile device, then you are attuned to the trifecta of elements that is now a staple of the fan experience:  the explosion of sports-focused media content, the networks that carry that content, and the evolving array of mobile devices that receive it.

Take a look at this video to see how the NBA is heating up the fan experience:

Cisco just released the 2012 Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, our ongoing initiative to forecast and analyze IP network growth and trends worldwide. The research shows that we’re in for some exciting growth – into the zettabytes by 2016. (One zettabyte is equal to a trillion gigabytes and yes, that number makes my head spin, too.)

This growth will come from a mix of factors, including the proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, and other smart devices that are driving up demand for connectivity, faster broadband speeds, and more video. How much video? By 2016, 1.2 million video minutes – the equivalent of 833 days (more than two years) – will travel the Internet every second. Over half of the world’s Internet traffic will come from Wi-Fi connections such as the Starbucks link you just used to watch the latest pick and roll.

We see this growth as a full-on paradigm shift in the mobility arena. These heated up conditions are the “new normal.” For sports fans like you and me, this means that media content will continue to proliferate, becoming richer and more interactive. Carriers, ISPs, and sports stadiums will embrace new information architectures to meet the demand for networks that can support this content and sustain huge spikes in traffic when the action heats up.

And as we roll into the NBA Finals, we’re seeing first-hand what’s driving Internet growth into the zettabytes.

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