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Internet Traffic to Explode by 2015, Cisco Predicts Internet Traffic to Explode by 2015, Cisco Predicts

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Internet Traffic to Explode by 2015, Cisco Predicts


Cisco Systems projects that, like these users at an Internet cafe in Istanbul, 40 percent of the world’s population will be on the Internet by 2015.(UGUR CAN/AFP/Getty Images)

More than 40 percent of the world’s population will be on the Internet by 2015, and each person will use an average of five devices to get there, Cisco Systems said in a report released on Wednesday.

Cisco predicts that 15 billion devices will be fighting for space on the Internet by 2015 – twice the world’s population. The total amount of traffic on the Internet will quadruple to 966 exabytes a year. (An exabyte equals 1 quintillion bytes, or a billion gigabytes.)


“The proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, connected appliances and other smart machines is driving up the demand for connectivity.  By 2015, there will be nearly 15 billion network connections via devices -- including machine-to-machine -- and more than two connections for each person on Earth,” the report states.

Luckily, higher broadband speed will be available to handle this demand. “The average fixed broadband speed is expected to increase fourfold, from 7 megabits per second in 2010 to 28 Mbps [megabytes per second] in 2015,” the report forecasts. “The average broadband speed has already doubled within the past year from 3.5 Mbps to 7 Mbps.”

A lot of it will be eaten up by video. Cisco predicts that by 2015, 1 million video minutes will cross the Internet per second – nearly two years worth of video every second. Internet video now makes up 40 percent of consumer Internet traffic, and will reach 62 percent by the end of 2015.


“Global IP [Internet] traffic has increased eightfold over the past five years, and will increase fourfold over the next five years,” the report predicts. “Overall, IP traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 32 percent from 2010 to 2015.”

Many of the devices driving this traffic will not be standard computers. “In 2010, only 3 percent of Internet traffic originated with non-PC devices, but by 2015 the non-PC share of Internet traffic will grow to 15 percent,” the report projects, adding that televisions and smartphones will be responsible for much of the growth.

And wires will soon be eclipsed, according to Cisco. “Traffic from wireless devices will exceed traffic from wired devices by 2015. In 2015, wired devices will account for 46 percent of IP traffic, while Wi-Fi and mobile devices will account for 54 percent of IP traffic,” the report says.

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