APAC will generate more than a third of global IP traffic by 2018


19 June 2014
Cisco Visual Networking Index

With the world's largest population and the most devices/connections, the Asia Pacific (APAC) region will generate 36 per cent of global IP traffic (or 47.8 exabytes) a month, making it the top traffic- generating region through 2018, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Forecast and Service Adoption.

The countries with the fastest IP traffic growth will be India with a 39 percent CAGR from 2013 to 2018, followed by Indonesia with a 37 percent CAGR.

Overall, global IP traffic is expected to increase nearly three-fold over the next five years due to more Internet users and devices, faster broadband speeds and more video viewing, said Cisco. Traffic for fixed and mobile connections is expected to reach an annual run rate of 1.6 zettabytes or more than one and a half trillion gigabytes per year by 2018. The projected annual IP traffic for 2018 will be greater than all IP traffic that has been generated globally from 1984 – 2013 (1.3 zettabytes).

The composition of IP traffic will also shift dramatically in the coming few years. During the forecast period, the majority of traffic will originate from devices other than personal computers (PCs) for the first time in the history of the Internet.

Wi-Fi traffic will exceed wired traffic for the first time and with the Internet of Everything gaining momentum (smart cars will have nearly four machine-to-machine or M2M modules per car), there will be nearly as many M2M connections as there are people on earth by 2018..

Outlining the implications for service providers, Cisco said service provider networks must adapt to the increasing number of devices, such as tablets, smartphones and  M2M  connections,  that  will  need  to  be  authenticated  to  access  fixed/mobile  networks  with enhanced security and service prioritisation.

The use of the Internet for video transmission (for example, for HD and web-based video conferencing and business video on demand) will have network ramifications for service providers and over-the-top providers and may prompt greater growth in network virtualisation.

4G network growth and service adoption may grow faster as mobile users continue to demand similar service and content experiences from their fixed and mobile networks. Wi-Fi is going to become increasingly important in providing offload for mobile devices and connectivity for a growing array of portable devices and M2M connections.

IP networks must be intelligent and flexible enough to support the constant introduction of new/updated applications for fixed and mobile networks, and service providers are actively collaborating with application developers to differentiate their services, said Cisco.