Cisco: Video to Consume 79% of Internet Traffic by 2020

Video will continue to deepen its dominance of Internet traffic as volumes increase four-fold between 2015 and 2020, according to a new report from Cisco Systems.

Internet video will account for 79% global Internet traffic by 2020, up 63% in 2015, Cisco found in its latest Visual Networking Index, a study that bases its findings on a mix of independent analyst forecasts and “real-world” network usage data.

Viewed another way, the Internet will support 3 trillion Internet video minutes per month by 2020, which equates to 5 million years of video per month, or about 1 million video minutes every second, Cisco said.

HD and Ultra HD Internet video will make up 82% of Internet video traffic by 2020, up from 53% in 2015, the report forecasted.

Broken down by sector, consumer video traffic will rise to 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2020, up from 68% in 2015, while business Internet video traffic will represent 66% of traffic in that category by 2020, up from 44% in 2015.

Virtual reality will also take a bite of bandwidth. VR-based traffic quadrupled in 2015, and is expected to increase 61-fold by 2020, Cisco said.

On a broader basis, global IP traffic will nearly triple at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22% over the next five years, as more than 1 billion new Internet users join the mix worldwide – growing from 3 billion in 2015 to 4.1 billion by 2020. Apps such as video surveillance, smart meters, digital health monitors and other machine-to-machine services will all contribute to big traffic boosts, Cisco predicted.

Global IP traffic is expected to reach 194.4 exabytes per month by 2020, up from 72.5 exabytes per month in 2015, Cisco said.

Global broadband speeds are also poised to nearly double from 24.7 Mbps in 2015 to 47.7 Mbps by 2020, the report found. Notably, 71% of total IP traffic will original from non-PC devices, such as tablets, smartphones and TVs, versus 47% in 2015. Smartphones will pump out 30% of total IP traffic by 2020, Cisco said.

Over the next five years, global IP networks will support 10 billion new devices and connections, increasing from 16.3 billion in 2015 to 26.3 billion by 2020, Cisco said, adding that there will be 3.4 devices and connections per capita by 2020, versus 2.2 per capita in 2015.

On the WiFi front, Cisco sees total public hotspots including home spots, surging from 64 million in 2015, to 432 million by 2020. Home spots are expected to grow from 57 million (2015) to 423 million by 2020.