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Cisco’s latest annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that global IP traffic will more than triple between now and 2022, whilst global networked devices and connections will reach a staggering 28.5 billion during that same period.

The scale of this growth can be gauged by the fact that by 2022, more IP traffic will cross global networks than in all prior ‘internet years’ up to the end of 2016 combined. In other words, more traffic will be created in 2022 than in the 32 years since the internet started!

Furthermore, there will be 28.5 billion fixed and mobile personal devices and connections by 2022, up from 18 billion in 2017. Or to look at it another way, 3.6 networked devices/connections per person, up from 2.4 per person.

The VNI report, which looks at the trends associated with fixed and mobile networks, also claims that broadband, Wi-Fi and mobile speeds will double or more with, for example, the average global fixed broadband speeds rising from 39.0 Mbps to 75.4 Mbps and the average global Wi-Fi connection speeds more than doubling from 24.4 Mbps to 54.0 Mbps.

IP video traffic which will quadruple by 2022

Perhaps unsurprisingly, video, gaming and multimedia are projected to account for more than 85% of all traffic by 2022. The major factor here is IP video traffic which will quadruple by 2022, accounting for almost 82% of total IP traffic. Gaming traffic will also experience explosive growth, growing nine-fold and representing 4% of the overall IP traffic.

In addition, virtual and augmented reality traffic will experience major growth as more consumers and businesses use the technologies. By 2022, virtual and augmented reality traffic will reach 4.02 exabytes/month, up from 0.33 exabytes/month in 2017.

Personal devices will count for less than half of the things connected to IP networks

And, of course, there are major implications as far as the global Internet of Things (IoT) is concerned. In fact the report projects that by 2022 more than half of the things connected to IP networks will not be 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). However, with more bandwidth-intensive (and low latency) applications like autonomous driving smart cars, video surveillance, and connected health, it will be vital that IoT traffic can be accounted for, secured and managed in new ways.

Mel Jones

European Product Manager

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