2018 Complete VNI Forecast Update – What’s Trending?

This week, we released our annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast, which covers global, regional, and country-level projections and trends associated with fixed and mobile networks. The full report includes information and analysis on devices/connections growth, IoT advances by industry vertical, IPv6 adoption, traffic growth by application (video, AR/VR, gaming, et al.), traffic patterns (peak vs. average), network transformation at the edge, cord cutting implications, a 5G mobile preview, Wi-Fi hotspots, broadband network performance and network security issues. Once again, the team has developed a great deal of information (some updated and some new). Over the next few weeks, each of the senior analysts responsible for the VNI Forecast will provide blogs that explore various key findings from the updated forecast and their global implications. For this week, I’ll focus on two top-level takeaways for you to ponder.

The Global Internet Community is Expanding (But Everyone is Not On-Board Yet)


The Internet continues to be a powerful resource for consumers and business users who rely on it for news, entertainment, social media, communications/collaboration and all types of applications. While the Internet has an undeniable role in the daily lives of many, there are still billions of people around the world who do not yet have access (largely in emerging markets and remote areas in the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa regions). Realistically, the Internet will never be a priority for some members of the global population and the Internet alone cannot solve all of the world’s social and economic problems or inequities. That being said, there are some compelling correlations that have been associated with Internet access and better living conditions (or prosperity) in general.

World Economic Forum

“This looming and unequal wealth explosion is important because it will exacerbate the current fault lines of global inequality. Internet use is overwhelmingly concentrated in advanced economies, and the biggest gaps are in the world’s poorest areas.”

Source: Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

The Global Internet of Things (IoT) Moves from Mere Connections to Tangible Value and Monetization

Globally, more than half of the things that will be connected to IP networks will not be our personal devices (smartphone, tablets, PCs and TVs), but sensors, tracking modules, cameras and other forms of machine-to-machine (M2M) connections that gather and share various types and volumes of information with other machines. In previous VNI Forecasts, the traffic generated from IoT applications was practically negligible (less than 5% of global traffic). With more bandwidth-intensive (and low latency) applications like autonomous driving smart cars, video surveillance, and connected health, IoT traffic now needs to be accounted for, secured and managed in new ways. The data generated by IoT applications also has new and emerging monetary value that can potentially create much-needed revenue streams to help justify (and financially support) further IoT development and innovation.


This shift also encompasses an understanding that IoT really needs new or enhanced technologies such as forms of artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced analytics and many others, depending on the project (from a broader range of wireless IoT standards and options to blockchain in some cases). Moreover, newer system-level architectures such as fog computing are on the rise in many larger IoT projects with critical data.

SOURCE: IoT 2018 – the next stage: the IoT of integration, value and action

VNI Forecast Resources



Thomas Barnett, Jr.

Director, SP Thought Leadership

Worldwide Service Provider Marketing Group