The age of face-to-face conversation is pretty much over
It wouldn’t quite be June if we didn’t have rain or Cisco’s annual visual networking index (VNI) forecast. We’ve had plenty of rain, now it’s time to tuck into some stats!
Telecoms.com (Banking Technology‘s sister publication) reports that you probably didn’t need us to tell you, but internet traffic is going to grow. The total number of internet users by the end of 2021 is forecast to hit 4.6 billion across the globe, accounting for a whopping 58% of the global population. This is up from an estimated 3.3 billion in 2016, with mobile accounting for roughly 20% of the total.
Five years ago, mobile traffic accounted for 2%, and last year this increased to 8%, with the high growth trend set to continue over the next five years. The volume of mobile data traffic will reach 49 exabytes per month by 2021, and will have an annual run rate of over half a zettabyte. The reliance on mobile is becoming more and more prominent in our day-to-day lives, as even pessimists and technophobes are being converted to services such as mobile banking.
And while it might depress some who have been accustomed to a bygone era of face-to-face conversations, the blue screens are going to become more addictive apparently.
“This is an astounding trend, particularly considering how prominently PC traffic has always figured in IP traffic,” says Cisco’s senior analyst Arielle Sumits. “In 2011, PCs generated 94% of total IP traffic. In 2021, PCs will be less than 30% of total IP traffic, and smartphones will be the device category with the highest share at 48%.”
Another interesting statistic is the reality of the internet of things (IoT). For many years, IoT has been one of those trends which we have discussed without seeing the real-world impact. This is about to change apparently. Smartphone connections will continue to dominate the mobile networks for the moment, though by 2019, Cisco anticipates the balance of power shifting.
By 2019, IoT connections will account for more mobile additions than smartphones, tablets and PCs. And by 2021, 638 million IoT modules will be added, while smartphone, tablet and PC additions will reach 381 million.
As you can probably imagine, a lot of this traffic will be video, in fact 80% of it will be. Video will dominate IP traffic and overall internet traffic growth representing 80% of all internet traffic by 2021, up from 67% in 2016. This means there will be 1.9 billion internet video users by 2021, as well as three trillion internet video minutes per month, about one million video minutes every second. That is a lot of cat videos.