Cisco study: 79% of all IP traffic will be video by 2018

It's no surprise that video makes up the majority of traffic on both wired and wireless networks, but according to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index, 79 percent of all IP traffic on the network will be video by 2018 and 52 percent of that video traffic will be HD video. 

Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that researchers at the networking vendor believe that 4K video, which is in its early stages today, will account for 11 percent of IP video traffic by 2018, up from 0.1 percent in 2013.

Cisco researchers also said that they are seeing growth in online video viewing and expect a CAGR of 10 percent from 2013 to 2018 as online video viewers grow from 1.2 billion users to 1.9 billion users by 2018.

But Cisco's annual VNI report isn't just about video. The company predicts that IP traffic will grow three-fold over the next four years due to more users, more devices, faster broadband connections and more video viewing. In fact, the company said that global IP traffic for fixed and mobile will reach a run rate of more than one and a half trillion gigabytes per year by 2018.

Interestingly, Cisco also said that the escalating number of Wi-Fi hotspots will likely lead to more data traffic being delivered over Wi-Fi networks than wired networks by 2018.  The VNI report predicts that there will be 53 million Wi-Fi hotspots globally by 2018, noting that both cable companies and wireless carriers are extending their reach by employing Wi-Fi hotspot strategies.  

Cisco's report also said that Wi-Fi and mobile connected devices will generate 61 percent of all IP traffic in four years and that Wi-Fi will account for 49 percent of that traffic while cellular will account for just 12 percent.  In contrast, fixed line traffic will decline to just 39 percent of total IP traffic by 2018, down from 56 percent in 2013.

Notably, Cisco also predicted a surge in M2M connections. The company said it expects there will be 7.3 billion M2M connections globally by 2018.  However, it also said that most M2M connections are not high-bandwidth connections, noting that in 2013 M2M connections accounted for less than 1 percent of all traffic. The firm predicts by 2018 M2M connections will make up less than 3 percent of traffic on the network.

For more:
- see this press release

Related articles:
Cisco: Average N. American mobile user to consume 6 GB/month in 2017
Report: LTE subscribers to hit 198M in 2013, then skyrocket to 1B in 2016
Report: LTE subs to climb from 114M in 2013 to 258M in 2014
Report: Half of all mobile connections will be 3G/4G by 2017
Cisco: Global mobile data traffic to increase 18-fold by 2016