Cisco has trimmed its annual IP traffic forecast, but still expects the world’s networks to be carrying two-thirds of a zetabyte by 2013, 90% of it video.
Cisco’s latest global survey predicts traffic will grow at 40% CAGR over the five years to 2013.
Networks will carry nearly 56 exabytes per month in 2013, up from approximately 9 exabytes per month in 2008 andnearly four times larger than it is in 2009.
But Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) cut its previous forecast, which had tipped an annual rate of 522 exabytes in 2012, back to 510 exabytes.
It says that video in multiple forms will dominate internet traffic, but expects P2P file sharing to decline in importance.
Video, excluding file sharing, now accounts a third of all consumer internet traffic, but by 2013 video downloads, VOD, TV, P2P, mobile and video IM will chew up 91% of capacity. Internet video alone will account for 60% of all consumer traffic.
P2P file-sharing networks will grow at 18%, but as a percentage of consumer traffic it will fall from 50% to 20% by 2013.
The boom application is mobile video. It is the fastest-growing application measured by the VNI and by 2013 nearly 64% of mobile data traffic will be video. Mobile data traffic will roughly double each year from 2008 to 2013.
Internet bandwidth forecasts can vary greatly. According to the Minnesota Internet Traffic Studies (MINTS) group, world internet traffic last year grew between 50%-60%, but it cites some data that shows demand is leveling out, in particular in markets such as South Korea and Hong Kong with a high takeup of multi-megabit broadband.