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Cisco: Wireless Traffic to Reach 11.2 Exabytes a Month By 2017
Data Growth Amazing, Says Company That Sells Network Gear
by Karl Bode 12:00PM Wednesday Feb 06 2013
Cisco is back with their latest Visual Networking Index mobile network traffic predictions. Given the company wants to sell new gear, such predictions historically lean toward hyperbole (beware the Exaflood!). New predictions are made, last year's incorrect predictions are pulled from the Cisco website as network growth winds up being more manageable than predicted, and rinse wash and repeat. As I've noted more than a few times, network growth and congestion is not only used to sell gear, but it's also used by carriers as a bogeyman to scare politicians into bad policy.

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That said, there's some nifty nuggets in this year's study. Cisco's newest report is tamer than years past, but still insists that worldwide mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold over the next four years, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month (134 exabytes annually) by 2017.

Cisco's predictions are scaled back from last year, when they predicted an 18 times growth rate in wireless network data between 2011 and 2016, with users consuming 10.8 exabytes per month by 2016. Now Cisco thinks traffic will hit 7.4 exabytes per month in 2016.

Growth is actually slowing. Cisco's predictions have quietly been pulled back to be less alarming, something the company doesn't discuss much in the report. It's unlikely that Cisco wants to send the message that you should "buy less network gear because things are going to be fine." Some additional factoids from Cisco that may or may not actually be true:

• By 2017 there will be 5.2 billion mobile users, 10 billion mobile devices/connections, and 992 million 4G (mostly LTE) connections.

• By 2017 Cisco predicts Average global mobile network speeds will increase seven-fold from 2012 (0.5 Mbps) to 2017 (3.9 Mbps). Globally, the average mobile network downstream speed in 2012 was 526 kilobits per second (kbps), up from 248 kbps in 2011. The average mobile network connection speed for smartphones in 2012 was 2,064 kbps, up from 1,211 kbps in 2011.

• By 2017, mobile video will represent 66 percent of global mobile data traffic.

• In 2012, 33% of all mobile data traffic was offloaded via Wi-Fi to fixed line networks (428 petabytes/month), a number that will reach 46% and 9.6 exabytes per month by 2017.

• In 2012 Just 1% of global data connections were 4G, yet that 1% laid claim to 14% of all global mobile data traffic.

• 2012's mobile data traffic was nearly twelve times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000 (885 Petabytes versus 75 Petabytes).

• By the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2017 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita.

• The average smartphone will generate 2.7 GB of traffic per month in 2017.

The study executive summary is here and the full study can be downloaded here.

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cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27

Because...hype-rbole works!

And they can't come out and say "Buy CSCO!"

Hmmm...that chart is not right. I am predicting more like 9EB in traffic, looking at their projection. Besides, they sold off Linksys Consumer products to Belkin.
--
Splat
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
kudos:2

Slowth is growing...

... due to carrier's attempted wallet rapping using data caps and overages, not due to slowing demand.

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY

Re: Slowth is growing...

What! no prognostications of the impending collapse of the internet.
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
kudos:2

Re: Slowth is growing...

Stupidity is good for business and excellent for consumer choice.
InvalidError

join:2008-02-03
kudos:5
Agreed. Low caps and steep usage rates are definitely hindering mobile data. Carriers are desperate to protect their conventional voice and SMS income, much like cablecos want to protect their TV and phone revenues.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

1 recommendation

Re: Slowth is growing...

The difference between the two is that much of the plant and equipment for the cableco is already bought, paid for, and installed. They still pay a fair amount of money for upgrades, DOCSIS 3.0 gear, modems, split nodes, etc, but it's not the same thing as an LTE deployment, which is basically a new network built from the ground up. New antennas, new cabling runs, new radios, new subsidized phones, billions of dollars spent on spectrum licenses. About the only thing they can reuse from the existing networks are the towers, but those are leased anyway, and in some instances they wind up having to purchase/build more of them anyway.

Stop and think about the tens of billions of dollars Verizon (to pick one) is spending on building out their LTE network. You might resent their pricing structure a little bit less. Also stop and think about how truly wondrous the technology is. I've been in the IT business lne enough to remember when a landline connection capable of LTE speeds cost thousands of dollars a month. You've effectively got a partial T3 in your pocket, that will work almost anywhere when the build is done, starting at a lousy $30-$50 a month.

Bottom line, stop complaining so much!
34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON

Re: Slowth is growing...

Stop being so complacent and such a corporate shill.

Although the speeds are nice most people couldn't care less about the speeds with the caps and high overage fees making the connections practically useless.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: Slowth is growing...

Explain why tens of millions of people are willing to pay for something that's "practically useless"?

You've got high speed access to the internet in your pocket, accessible in every major American city, hell, accessible from almost anywhere if you include the soon to be upgraded 3G footprint. This was unimaginable just a few years ago. Adjusted for inflation, this product costs considerably less than the first fixed line broadband connections, and maybe even less than the first dial-up connections. It's certainly cheaper than the dial-up account plus second POTS line that many of us paid for back in the day, even without the inflation adjustment, yet here we sit complaining how the pricing structure

Stop griping long enough to appreciate just how remarkable this technology is, the tens of billions it cost to research, develop, and deploy, and how the pricing for it is not out of line with the drastically inferior products offered just a few years ago.

P.S., See how I made my points without insulting you? You might try it that way next time.
InvalidError

join:2008-02-03
kudos:5
said by Crookshanks:

Bottom line, stop complaining so much!

People wouldn't complain quite as much if the per-GB rates were reasonable.

While it may cost billions to acquire license and roll out equipment, the license is amortized over decades and tens of millions of subscribers so the license cost should end up under $1/sub/month. The equipment cost is amortized over 5+ years and unless wireless is somehow more expensive than FTTH to build (wireless is usually much cheaper than wired), that would come under $25/sub/month.

So there really is no reason for carriers to charge something like $5-10/GB for data even on wireless, they would still make a killing with profits at $1/GB since their build cost is already generously covered by the monthly fees.

rtcy
FACTS only please
Premium
join:1999-10-16
Norwalk, CA

Tactics by....

Karl they got their tactics from the " War Industrial Complex " the same folks that kept telling us as kids the "russians are coming" and tuck under your school table in case of a nuke, and at high noon they blew that super loud alarm all over the city ( Miami) to remind us of what it would sound like.

Could not help it Karl as I just watched Mr. Black last night for the 100th time, but still LMAO.

mikeeo
Premium
join:2000-03-12
Newark, DE

Cisco is

...Still the leading company when it comes to anything IP related.