Internet traffic to quadruple in next four years

Posted by Kate Taylor

The web is getting busier and busier, says Cisco, with the amount of traffic in 2016 set to hit 1.3 zettabytes – that's a trillion gigabytes to you and me.

Indeed, by 2016, annual global IP traffic is set to equal the world's total data usage between 1984 and today, it says in a report.

The main reasons are more devices and more people. By 2016, says Cisco, there'll be around 3.4 million internet users - about 45 pcrcent of the world population - using 18.9 network comnnections between them.

And increasing broadband speeds video traffic and Wifi use will also add to the traffic.

"Each of us increasingly connects to the network via multiple devices in our always-on connected lifestyles," says Suraj Shetty, Cisco's vice president of product and solutions marketing.

"Whether by video phone calls, movies on tablets, web-enabled TVs, or desktop video conferencing, the sum of our actions not only creates demand for zettabytes of bandwidth, but also dramatically changes the network requirements needed to deliver on the expectations of this 'new normal'."

The fastest-growing sector is IP video, expected to account for 86 percent of all data traffic by 2016. To put this in perspective, it represents about two years' worth of video every second.

Cisco has a pretty good track record with its predictions. In its first report, in 2007, it forecast an overall IP traffic volume of 28.4 exabytes per month by 2011. The actual figure was 30.7  - about seven percent higher.