Cisco forecasts Zettabyte of IP traffic by 2015

There will be nearly 15 billion devices connected to the Internet, generating nearly a Zettabyte (one sextillion bytes) of global IP traffic by 2015, Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO) fifth annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast claims.

Cisco VNI IP Traffic

Cisco's Visual Networking Index, Global IP Traffic Forecast. By 2015, the sum of all forms of IP video will reach 90% of Internet traffic.

The admittedly self-serving forecast also predicts that there will be nearly three billion Internet users in 2015 and the average broadband speed will be 28 Mbps. Another hard-to-fathom statistic: one million video minutes will traverse the Internet every second.

The report started as a way for Cisco to tell its engineers what was coming and what to build. It's expanded to a resource tool for analysts, service providers, the media and regulators worldwide, Doug Webster, Cisco's senior director of global service provider marketing told FierceCable.

Cisco VNI Zettabyte scale

Where a Zettabyte sits on the data scale: the equivalent of 250 billion DVDs. (Image source: Cisco)

"We're able to analyze anonymous data feeds from more than two dozen service providers around the world, we have more than a half-million people using applications for their broadband lines on their PCs or on their mobile phones that all feeds into a lager database too. There is a unique view of market data that we're able to portray," Webster said.

It is worthwhile information despite the fact that it "comes from a vendor with a vested interest in depicting a network traffic nightmare," Current Analysis' Jeremiah Caron told FierceCable.

That nightmare will come about if service providers don't keep their networks apace of an ever-increasing horde of devices and the traffic they're generating, said Webster.

"A year ago tablets had just been introduced. They weren't even a specific call-out category within our study, but by 2015 we're expecting tablets to generate as much traffic as the entire mobile Internet handled in 2010," Webster said, explaining how devices are "coming into the network fast and furious."

For more:
- see the news release
- and Cisco's executive summary

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