Cisco expects global IP traffic to reach an annual run rate of 1.4 zettabytes — that’s more than a trillion gigabytes per year — by 2017. On a monthly basis, global IP traffic is expected to reach nearly 121 exabytes per month by 2017, up from about 44 exabytes per month in 2012. To put it into perspective, 121 exabytes is equivalent to 30 billion DVDs; or 28 trillion MP3s; or 750 quadrillion text messages; or a whole lot of USENET posts.
It also predicts that the Internet of Things—the network of connected devices, including machine-to-machine (M2M) connections—increasingly will have an impact on global Internet network, with both the number of devices and the amount of traffic from these devices growing quickly.
By 2017, there will be about 3.6 billion Internet users, almost half of what will be the projected worldwide population of 7.6 billion people that year. By comparison, there were 2.3 billion users in 2012, or about 32 percent of the world’s population, according to Cisco’s report. There also will be more than 19 billion network connections—both fixed and mobile devices as well as M2M connections—by 2017, up from about 12 billion in 2012.
“Busy hour” Internet traffic, (hours of the day during which traffic is highest), is increasing faster than average Internet traffic. Busy hour Internet traffic increased 41% in 2012, compared to 34% growth in average traffic.
Globally, there were 1,832 million residential Internet users with fixed Internet access in 2012; there will be 2,459 million residential Internet users with fixed Internet access by 2017. Globally, there were 1,598 million TV households in 2012; there will be 1,744 million TV households by 2017.