As the number of Internet users increases, and broadband connectivity becomes more pervasive, the amount of video and virtual reality consumed is growing by leaps and bounds.
The 12th annual Cisco Visual Networking Index Complete Forecast, which projects future IP and Internet traffic trends, indicates that the number of Internet users will grow from 3,3-billion to 4,6-billion – equating to 58% of the global population.
Meanwhile, the adoption of personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections is going to leap from 17,1-billion to 27,1-billion between 2016 and 2021, while the average broadband speed will advance from 27,5Mbps to 53Mbps.
These trends will result in more video viewing, from 73% to 82% of total IP traffic.
For the first time in the 12 years of the forecast, M2M connections that support Internet of Things (IoT) applications are expected to be more than half of the total 27,1-billion devices and connections and will account for five percent of global IP traffic by 2021.
Globally, there will be nearly 1,9-billion Internet video users (excluding mobile-only) by 2021, up from 1,4-billion in 2016. In the meantime, emerging media such as live Internet video will increase 15-fold and reach 13% of Internet video traffic by 2021.
By 2021, virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) traffic will increase 20-fold and represent 1% of global entertainment traffic.
Globally, the total number of public WiFi hotspots (including homespots) will grow six-fold from 2016 to 2021 from 94-million in 2016 to 541,6-million by 2021.
At the same time software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) will increase six-fold over the forecast period and represent 25% of WAN traffic by 2021.
The increased connectivity has a downside, though: the number of DDoS attacks grew 172% in 2016 and will increase 2,5-fold to 3,1-million by 2021.
“As global digital transformation continues to impact billions of consumers and businesses, the network and security will be essential to support the future of the Internet,” says Yvette Kanouff, senior vice-president and GM of the service provider business at Cisco.
“Driving network innovation with service providers will be key for Cisco to support the needs of their customers who want reliable, secure, and high quality connected experiences.”