Global Internet traffic is on pace to increase more than fourfold to 767 exabytes by 2014. All the traffic traversing Internet Protocol networks in 2008 amounted to about 10 exabytes.

Video will continue to be the driver, exceeding 91 percent of global consumer IP traffic by 2014, according to Cisco in its latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, this one covering the years 2009-2014.

Global Internet trafficImprovements in network bandwidth capacity and Internet speeds, along with the increasing popularity of HDTV and 3-D TV, are key factors expecting to quadruple IP traffic from 2009 to 2014.

Global Internet video traffic will surpass global peer-to-peer traffic by the end of 2010. For the first time in the last 10 years, peer-to-peer traffic will not be the largest Internet traffic type, Cisco predicts.

  • Globally, advanced video traffic, including three-dimensional and high-definition TV, is projected to increase 13 times between 2009 and 2014.
  • By 2014, 3-D is expected to account for 4 percent of total Internet video traffic.
  • By 2014, 3-D and HD video is forecast to compose 42 percent of total consumer Internet video traffic.

Global business IP traffic is forecast to reach 7.7 exabytes per month in 2014, more than tripling from 2009-2014.

Business video conferencing is projected to grow tenfold over the forecast period, growing almost three times as fast as overall business IP traffic, at a CAGR of 57 percent from 2009-2014.

Web-based video conferencing is the fastest-growing sub-category, growing 180-fold from 2009-2014 (183 percent CAGR from 2009-2014).

Global mobile data traffic will increase 39 times from 2009 to 2014. By 2014, annual global mobile data traffic will reach 3.5 exabytes per month (or a run rate of more than 42 exabytes annually), according to the Cisco report.

Pankaj Patel, senior vice president and general manager of the Service Provider Group at Cisco, said: "Service providers are faced with evolving bandwidth and scalability requirements as residential, business and mobile consumers continue to demonstrate a healthy appetite for advanced video services across a variety of networks and devices. IP networks must be intelligent and flexible enough to support this tremendous variety of traffic growth. The Cisco VNI Forecast offers a global snapshot of video's significance in our daily lives and signals the need for further network preparations to support the quadrupling of the Internet and the more than 1 billion online video users by 2014."

The Cisco VNI Forecast, which focuses on two primary user groups – consumers and businesses – was developed as an annual study to estimate global IP traffic growth and trends. Projections are based on Cisco analysis and modeling of traffic, usage and device data from independent analyst sources. Cisco validates its forecast, inputs and methodology with data provided by service providers worldwide.

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