Cisco Blogs

Insatiable Demand for Bandwidth Continues

April 29, 2008 - 1 Comment

So you’ve read about our IP traffic study in some past posts — If you’ve been wondering whether traffic growth is really occurring and what’s the impact of this growth to the networks, I can firmly attest that absolutely it is. Every major service provider I have interacted with over the past 6 months has talked about how their traffic is growing faster than before – but not necessarily at the same rate for all. What’s behind this traffic growth? Personally, all you have to do is look inside any of our homes to see the drivers. Let’s take mine as an example. My 15 year old son has stopped watching television and lives his academic and social life in the virtual world through a laptop or through a game console. My 12 year old daughter is also spending more time online with her friends but with slightly different interests. What’s most intriguing is that my 8 year old son is watching videos online continually. Even my wife prefers to occasionally catch snipets of her favorite shows from the www than on live television. As soon as a provider can deliver faster bandwidth to my house, they can count on me as a customer. Where am I going with this? I know that I am not an exception but more of the standard of homes with kids. It is clear that video is the big driver of this growth and will continue to be as we increase the number of creators of content and consumers of content and ways that it can be consumed.Early in April Cisco announced that sales of Cisco CRS-1 have doubled in less than 9 month from 900 to 1800 units. This is clearly a sign that service providers around the world are conducting expansions of their networks but want to be assured that as traffic continues to grow they will be able to scale their networks. The multi-chassis capability of CRS-1 allows SPs to scale their systems where needed while the 16, 8 and 4 slot single shelf systems allow the SPs to grow the footprint of the core network to accommodate the rapid increase in the number of subscribers and the bandwidth per subscriber.The question we need to ask ourselves are – will this insatiable demand for bandwidth continue at the rate of the forecasts? Or will it be even higher?

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. I think it will surpass the demand forecast; especially in developing economies such as India. I recently did some analysis and consumer research extrapolating information from a network of people I know and online research and the most amazing finding was that people are hungry for bandwidth and mobile growth is only going to fuel that more and more each day. I’ll cite an example: If you spend an hour at a local train station in Bombay (such as Andheri or Borivali let’s say) you will end up gazing at at least 10-15,000 people in a matter of minutes. Millions of such commuters on a daily basis spend a average of an hour commuting. To pass time and entertainment during this ride, they use various forms and more recently it has been playing video games or SMSing on their cellphones. Almost everyone has a cellphone these days. Imagine what will happen if we get these bandwidth hungry folks access to unlimited data transfers. I can imagine a video explosion of TV shows, video clips, cricket matches etc. etc. and an opportunity to expand Cisco’s reach to not only satisfy this hunger but also play an important role in application innovation space which will also lead to more and more people getting hooked onto the thing we call ‘internet’.