Cisco: Wi-Fi, cellular data to make up 67% of all IP traffic in 2019

Mobile data traffic is going to more than triple its share of total global IP data traffic during the next several years, according to a new report from network vendor Cisco Systems.

According to Cisco's latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) forecast of total Internet traffic, by 2019 more than 14 percent of monthly IP traffic will come from cellular connections, up from 4 percent in 2014.

By 2019, Cisco predicts 53 percent of monthly IP traffic will come from Wi-Fi connections worldwide, up from 42 percent in 2014. Cisco said this shift will put even more pressure on carriers to try and monetize mobile data traffic.

Overall, Cisco expects fixed IP traffic to drop from 54 percent of all IP traffic in 2014 to 33 percent in 2019 as Wi-Fi and cellular traffic increases.

Reiterating what it said in its VNI forecast on mobile data traffic in February, Cisco said mobile data traffic will reach an annual run rate of 292 exabytes by 2019, up from 30 exabytes in 2014. An exabyte is equal to 1 billion gigabytes.

The report also looked at the Internet of Things market. According to Cisco, the number of global M2M connections is expected to more than triple during the next five years, growing to 10.5 billion by 2019. Cisco expects a wide range of vertical markets, including agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and transportation, to continue to adopt connected devices. More consumers are also likely to buy connected appliances, thermostats, video cameras and the like.

According to Cisco, the connected healthcare consumer segment will be the fastest-growing segment, with a 54 percent compound annual growth rate from 2014 to 2019. However, Cisco also thinks the connected home segment will represent nearly half (48 percent) of M2M connections by 2019.

The report predicts that annual global M2M IP traffic will grow 15-fold from 2014 to 2019, growing from 308 petabytes in 2014 (0.5 percent of global IP traffic) to 4.6 exabytes by 2019 (2.7 percent of global IP traffic).

Cisco's annual VNI reports are widely cited every year by carriers and vendors alike as a key benchmark for measuring and predicting data traffic. The reports are often also used to justify calls for network investment, traffic management technologies and more spectrum, all of which could eventually benefit networking firms like Cisco.

For more:
- see this Cisco report

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