The disruption of businesses used to take decades, but, today, digitization is changing the business landscape at an unprecedented rate. While this is a global phenomenon, it is, in particular, showcased in Asia Pacific, where, on a recent trip, I was able to meet with customers who are on the cutting edge of these trends.

Asia Pacific’s leadership in this area was also highlighted by our latest Cisco Visual Networking Index forecasts, the most recent of which was just released last week.  As many of our readers know, the VNI forecasts look at global IP traffic trends and patterns and help us to analyze the dynamic factors that facilitate network growth as well as predict how the industry and our own individual use of networking will evolve.

By 2021, it forecasts the Asia Pacific will be the top IP traffic-generating region in the world, generating nearly 40% of the global total.  Of this, IP-based video will comprise 83% of it (a touch higher than the global average of 82%), and on the mobility front, Asia Pacific will account for a whopping 47 percent or nearly Half(!) of the globe’s mobile traffic.  That figure is likely to increase in future as mobile data traffic will grow 3 times faster than fixed IP traffic over the 5 year forecast period, in part, because 2021 also coincides with the rise of 5G hitting the mainstream. This next generation of mobile technology – or to put it more appropriately, this next generation of networking technology — will invariably take hold and enter the mainstream market first in Asia Pacific and help the average mobile network connection speeds to increase threefold, which in turn will enable an average smartphone to consume four times more bandwidth than today.

5G will accelerate the move towards digital as a transformative ecosystem that combines cloud infrastructure, virtualization, automation, intelligent edge services, distributed computing and more to derive insights from data that is generated by billions of devices.  5G’s ubiquitous connectivity, low latency and incredible bandwidth will also present businesses with an innovation platform to help drive new revenue opportunities leveraging that data and enabling whole new experiences.  However, the appeal of 5G is that it isn’t just a new technology for service providers to upgrade their network but also it is about what it can do for their customers on their path to digitization.

We will cover more on the impact on end customers in an upcoming post, but rest assured, in this age of disruption in the telecommunications industry, Asia Pacific will have many pioneering customers that not only are leading the way but also providing examples for the rest of the industry and the world to follow.  Disrupt or be disrupted.


Doug Webster

Vice President