Cisco study projects 3.6 billion Internet users by 2017

Cisco has once again released its study of global Internet traffic with the Cisco Visual Networking Index. Among the study's findings: In 2012, there were 2.3 billion Internet user representing about 32% of the world's population; however, by 2017, there will be about 3.6 billion Internet users -- more than 48% of the world's projected population (7.6 billion).

Also projected for 2017:

  • More than 19 billion global network connections (fixed/mobile personal devices, M2M connections, et al.), up from about 12 billion connections in 2012.
  • Globally, the average fixed broadband speed will increase 3.5-fold from 2012-2017, from 11.3Mbps to 39Mbps.
  • The non-PC share of Internet traffic will grow to 49%; in 2012 26% of Internet traffic originated with non-PC devices.
  • While PC-originated traffic will grow at a 14% CAGR, traffic from other devices/connections will have higher growth rates including TVs (24%), tablets (104%), smartphones (79%), and machine-to-machine (M2M) modules (82%).
  • There will be nearly 2 billion Internet video users (excluding mobile-only) by 2017, up from 1 billion Internet video users in 2012.

[ IN DEPTH: Mobile devices: Too much of a good thing? 

MORE: Cisco study: More users = more devices = more connections ]

Globally, M2M connections will grow threefold from 2 billion in 2012 to 6 billion by 2017. Applications such as video surveillance, smart meters, asset/package tracking, chipped pets/livestock, digital health monitors and a host of other next-generation M2M services are driving this growth.

Consumer IP traffic will continue take the lion's share of capacity: In 2012 consumer IP traffic represented 80% of monthly total global IP traffic while business consumed 20%, but by 2017, business IP traffic will represent 18% of monthly total global IP traffic and consumer IP traffic "visualwill represent 82%. Business Internet video traffic, which grew 52% in 2012, will grow 5.3-fold by 2017. Video will account for 58% of all business Internet traffic in 2017, up from 31% in 2012.

Commenting in a statement, Doug Webster, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Cisco, said, "Cisco's VNI Forecast once again showcases the seemingly insatiable demand for bandwidth around the globe and provides insights on the architectural considerations necessary to deliver on the ever-increasing experiences being delivered. With more and more people, things, processes and data being connected in the Internet of Everything, the intelligent network and the service providers who operate them are more relevant than ever."

Access to Cisco's white paper with more details and tools can be found here. Our thanks to Cisco for continuing to create and for sharing this very valuable information.

To comment on this article and other Network World content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter stream.
Must read: Hidden Cause of Slow Internet and how to fix it
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.