So you were just getting used to hearing data referred to in “gigabytes”, GB, or “Gigs” – and now the Internet world has moved on. We are now dealing with zettabytes of data. One zettabyte is equal to a trillion gigabytes.
According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Forecast and statement, there is and will be explosive global growth in Internet traffic, which is expected to quadruple by 2016. This is fueled largely by the speed at which smartphones, tablets, and Internet-enabled TVs are flying off the shelves; the growing accessibility of Wi-Fi and faster high-speed connections are all contributing factors.
Computers may have been responsible for 94 percent of consumer Internet traffic last year, but that number is expected to decrease to about 81 percent. So where’s the growth? Mobile Internet traffic – which is forecast to increase 18 times between now and 2016.
The Internet Traffic Explosion
- 2016 will see 3.4 billion Internet users — half the world
- More than half of global Internet traffic is expected to come from Wi-Fi
- Average broadband speeds will nearly quadruple
- The greatest demand for bandwidth will come from video: streaming entertainment as well as business videoconferencing
Imagine the equivalent of 278 million people simultaneously streaming an HD movie each hour. That’s where Cisco expects consumer demand to be — orders of magnitude greater than it is now. Cisco says it expects dramatic changes in “the network requirements needed to deliver on the expectations of this ‘new normal.’“