Cisco releases VNI for 2014-2019

Video and mobile predicted to be biggest disruptors

Cisco chief technical officer, Kevin Bloch

Cisco chief technical officer, Kevin Bloch

Networking giant, Cisco, has released its Visual Networking Index (VNI) for 2014 through to 2019.

The figures cover a wide range of areas such as: IP traffic, Internet traffic, Fixed versus Wi-Fi versus mobile growth, devices, speed evolution, average traffic per user and household traffic.

This is the tenth year that the vendor has produced this dataset and Cisco has a pretty good track record with its VNI, with predictions usually falling within ten per cent of actual figures. In the 2009-2014 VNI, predictions were for 34.2 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) globally and actual figures came in at 35.6 per cent.

The latest figures came with predictions for 2019 and give a snapshot of what the connected world will look like in five years. The data comes from a number of analysts, Cisco’s software agents and actual Internet traffic figures.

Cisco Australia chief technology officer, Kevin Bloch, presented the figures from a global and Australian perspective.

“I don’t think that the numbers I present are only an IT issue,” he said.

“These numbers are business metrics. The smarter organisations outside of IT, will and should be taking note of these trends.

“Whether you are in government and you call it the knowledge economy or you are in business and you call it digital transformation, or you are here at Cisco and talk about the Internet of Everything (IoE), you are talking about the same thing, and these numbers are huge.”

Bloch outlined the four key trends that Cisco believed were driving the adoption of IP, traffic and build up. The first was the increasing number of Internet users, Cisco’s figures show that in 2014, there were 2.8 billion individuals connected to the Internet and that this figure would grow to 3.9 billion in the next five years.

According to Cisco, Australia had 17 million Internet users in 2014 and was predicted to reach 21 million by 2019.

“By 2019 half of the world’s population will be on the Internet,” he said.

The next major driver was the amount of devices and connections. In 2014, there were 14.2 billion connected devices and this is set to grow to 24.4 billion by 2109. Bloch said that of those, 10.5 billion devices would be machine to machine (M2M) by 2019.

There were 116 million connected devices locally in 2014 and Cisco estimates that figure will nearly double to 220 million in five years with the number of M2M devices reaching 119 million.

The third driver was faster broadband speeds, the global average for 2014 was 20.3Mbps and Cisco predicted this will grow to 42.5Mbps by 2019. Locally, this was 18.3Mbps in 2014 and set to grow to 43.6Mbps by 2019.

The final driver Bloch outlined was increased video viewing. Last year it accounted for 67 per cent of all Internet traffic and this was predicted to grow to 80 per cent by 2019. In Australia video made up 63 per cent of all traffic and the vendor predicted this to grow to 81 per cent by 2019.

Bloch said that in 2018, there will be more Internet traffic than there will have been up until that point. That means that more Internet traffic will occur in that year than at any other time in history.

Cisco predicts that there will be a 2.75-fold increase in IP traffic in Australia and a 3-fold increase globally.

The vendor also outlined the top networking trends it expects to see by 2019. The most important of these, according to Bloch were growth in connected devices, service adoption trends and the move from wired to wireless connections.

The vendor expects to see a continued shift in the devices and connections mix where the amount of M2M connected devices will increase three times and outnumber any other connected devices by 2019.

Cisco said that M2M applications across many industry verticals would drive growth in the IoE space. In Australia, by 2019, M2M modules are predicted to account for 54 per cent of total devices and connections and will make up 5.9 per cent of total IP traffic.

By 2019, the vendor predicts residential fixed Internet population will will be 2.4 billion and the number of TV households will be 1.8 billion globally. The global consumer mobile population is expected to reach 4.9 billion by 2019.

Bloch emphasised that ultra-high definition content will significantly impact IP video growth. This form of content is said to account for nine per cent of Australian traffic and 14 per cent globally by 2019.

Cisco said that mobile video will be a major trend in the next five years. It estimates mobile video streaming will grow at 21 per cent CAGR, while online video will grow at 7.3 per cent and digital TV at 4.9 per cent. Bloch said that for the first time, in Q3 2014, time spent watching video content on mobile devices exceeded video content watched on TV globally.

In 2015, the vendor said that the average household globally is using an average of 43GB per month while the “cord-cutting” or wireless household was using 92GB per month of data.

Global Average fixed broadband speeds were 20.3Mbps in 2104 and Cisco expects this to increase more than two times to 42.5Mbps in 2019.

The Global Average Wi-Fi speeds hit 10.6Mbps in 2014, outstripping mobile data speeds. This is said to hit 18.5Mbps in the next five years. Mobile networks will also increase from a global average of 1.7Mbps in 2014, to 3.9Mbps in 2019.

Cisco said there will be a surge of Wi-Fi hotspots in the coming years. The vendor said that by 2018, there will be 341 million Wi-Fi hotspots across the globe. The US currently leads the hotspot count followed by China and France. Europe is currently the world’s top Wi-Fi region with 50 per cent of all Wi-Fi, but by 2018, Asia is predicted to lead the world in the space.

In Australia, wireless IP traffic is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 22 per cent, with 72 per cent of total IP is expected to come from wireless by 2019.

Bloch emphasised the importance to business of taking into consideration consumer trends. He said that even if a business does not deal with consumers directly, the trends in methods of consumption will greatly impact how all business is conducted in the next five years.

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