HIG00648This weekend, I evinced a big change in my youngest daughter. She emerged from her summer couch potato cocoon and blossomed into an active youngster chasing after fictional creatures in natural sunlight. Within 2 days of its launch, Pokémon Go had number of users almost at par with Twitter, the popular social media network that has been around for more than 10 years. What does this latest of mobile gaming phenomenon have in common with the latest global Cisco VNI Complete Forecast? Besides the fact that both are good for health (one for the body and the other for the brain) the common linkage is growing prevalence of virtual reality (VR).

Our latest global IP traffic forecast projects that virtual reality is on the rise and the traffic associated with virtual- and augmented-reality applications quadrupled in 2015 and is poised to grow 61-fold by 2020. One of the main applications of VR is currently in the gaming sector.

HIG00641VNI service adoption research also projects that out of the 8 consumer mobile applications that we track, mobile gaming will be one of the higher growth services with a healthy 20.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2015-2020. The number of users for mobile gaming will grow 2.5-fold during this period. This growth is driven by improved hardware performance; launch of new form-factors, new interactive, social media integrated as well as VR augmented games.

While gaming is a growing mobile service, it is also growing on the non-mobile online platforms as well. Online gaming is forecast to be the fastest growing residential Internet service although at a more nominal rate of 5.3% CAGR from 2015-2020. Online-gaming growth is primarily influenced by technology enhancements in PCs such as graphics, motion sensing, gesture recognition, etc.

vni pokemon

The slower growth in online gaming vs. mobile gaming reflects the different addressable markets in total number of users. The reach of mobile is more than double of the residential Internet users. By 2020, there will be nearly 5 billion mobile consumer users as compared to 2.4 billion residential Internet Users.

In summary, mobile/online gaming and virtually reality are on the rise and they are having a tangible impact on driving IP traffic up. As a mother, I’m delighted to see my daughter active and engaged in an outdoor activity, with a constant reminder to her of being watchful. As an analyst, I see that gaming has taken on a new dimension (and global networks will need to evolve to keep up).


Shruti Jain

Leader, Project & Program Management

X-Architecture Marketing, Enterprise Networking & Cloud