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Video Dominating the Pipeline by 2021!


The next five years will certainly be eventful in the area of the global digital transformation and will bring on the highest of demands to our IP Networks (as we know them today).  According to the released results from Cisco, at the 12th Annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) which determined that the overall growth of the Internet (by a number of categories such as region, device and connectivity type) showed some spectacular  findings in the world of video! It’s prediction is that 82% of all internet traffic will be video globally! Now, for the people currently in North America @ 74% and Latin Amercia @ 74%, your video internet traffic will remain relatively the same with roughly a 3% increase in the next 5 years according to the VNI. However, the big global jumpers were Central and Eastern Europe, currently residing at 56% to 77% in 2021 and the Middle East and Africa sitting at 62% and jumping to 81% by 2021! Making the overall global picture by 2021, a whopping 80% of all video internet traffic (up from 67% in 2016).

Of course, in order to push video through the IP traffic “jam” major increases in broadband speeds are necessary, in which they are set to double from 27.5 to 53Mbps in giving the consumer their rich media experience that they will be demanding over the next 5 years! One very interesting factoid is that it is estimated that the world will reach three trillion Internet video minutes per month by 2021- which in perceptive is five million years of video per month, or an estimated one million video minutes every second (yeah, I had to read that again as well). An estimated 1.9 billion Internet video users which excludes mobile-only viewers by 2021 (which will be up from 1.4 billion in 2016)!

“As global digital transformation continues to impact billions of consumers and businesses, the network and security will be essential to support the future of the Internet,” said Yvette Kanouff, SVP and GM of Service Provider Business, Cisco. “Driving network innovation with service providers will be key for Cisco to support the needs of their customers who want reliable, secure, and high quality connected experiences.”

Virtual (VR) and Augmented reality (AR) will represent at least 1% of the internet traffic by 2021 (roughly 20-fold). I can’t even imagine what 2031 will bring, pretty exciting things are certainly on the horizon for this entertainment shaping visual dynamic!

Provided below is the Complete Foretasted Key Predictions and Major Milestones from the 2017,  12th Annual Visual Networking Index (VNI)

2017 VNI Complete Forecast Key Predictions and Major Milestones

Global IP will grow three-fold from 2016 to 2021.

    • Global IP traffic is expected to reach 278 exabytes per month by 2021, up from 96 exabytes per month in 2016. Global IP traffic is expected to reach an annual run rate of 3.3 zettabytes by 2021.
    • Busy hour Internet traffic is increasing faster than average Internet traffic. Busy hour Internet traffic will grow 4.6-fold (35 percent CAGR) from 2016 to 2021, reaching 4.3 Pbps by 2021, compared to average Internet traffic that will grow 3.2-fold (26 percent CAGR) over the same period reaching 717 Tbps by 2021.
  1. Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices will generate 73 percent of Internet traffic by 2021
    • 2021 Internet access percentages – Wi-Fi: 53 percent; cellular: 20 percent;  fixed: 27 percent
    • 2016 Internet access percentages – Wi-Fi = 52 percent; cellular: 10 percent; fixed: 38 percent

Globally, total public W-Fi hotspots (including homespots) will grow 6-fold from 2016 to 2021 from 94 million in 2016 to 541.6 million by 2021.

  • Globally, total Wi-Fi homespots will grow from 85 million in 2016 to 526.2 million by 2021.
  • Leading hotspot countries: China (170 million by 2021), US (86 million by 2021), Japan (33 million by 2021), and France (30 million by 2021).

 By 2021, more than half (56 percent) of connected flat panel TV sets will be 4K up from 15 percent in 2016

  • Installed/In-service 4K TV sets will increase from 85M in 2016 to 663M by 2021.

 Cord-Cutting household traffic is 86 percent higher than average Internet households

  • “Cord cutting” refers to the trend in which traditional and subscription television viewing is increasingly being supplanted by other means of video viewing, such as online and mobile video, which are available to viewers through fixed and mobile Internet connections.
  • A global cord-cutting household generates 117 GB per month in 2017, compared to 63 GB per month for an average Internet household.
  1. End-User Internet traffic is moving closer to the edge—over one-third of traffic will bypass core by 2021
    • Globally, 35 percent of Internet traffic will be carried metro-to-metro by 2021, up from 22 percent in 2016.
    • Globally, 23 percent of Internet traffic will be carried on regional backbones (without touching cross-country backbones) by 2021, compared to 20 percent in 2016.
    • Globally, 41 percent of Internet traffic will traverse cross-country backbones by 2021, compared to 58 percent in 2016.

Global enterprise SD-WAN traffic

  • SD-WAN traffic will grow at a CAGR of 44 percent compared to five percent for traditional WAN.
  • SD-WAN will increase six-fold over the forecast period and represent 25 percent of WAN traffic by 2021.
  1. Average DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks size increasing steadily and approaching 1.2 Gpbs—enough to take most organizations completely offline
    • DDoS incidents can paralyze networks by flooding servers and network devices with traffic from multiple IP sources.
    • The peak attack size increased 60 percent year over year and represents up to 18 percent of a country’s total Internet traffic while they are occurring.
    • Average DDoS attack size increased to 22 percent, which is relatively the same rate as Internet traffic at 29 percent year over year.
    • The number of DDoS attacks grew 172 percent in 2016 and will increase 2.5-fold to 3.1 million by 2021 globally.

Regional IP Traffic Growth Details (2016 – 2021)

  • APAC: 107.7 exabytes/month by 2021, 26 percent CAGR, 3.2-fold growth
  • North America: 85 exabytes/month by 2021, 20 percent CAGR, 2.5-fold growth
  • Western Europe: 37.4 exabytes/month 2021, 22 percent CAGR, 2.7-fold growth
  • Central Europe: 17.1 exabytes/month by 2021, 22 percent CAGR, 2.75-fold growth
  • Latin America: 12.9 exabytes/month by 2021, 21 percent CAGR, 2.6-fold growth
  • Middle East and Africa: 15.5 exabytes/month by 2021, 42 percent CAGR, 5.8-fold growth

Cisco VNI Methodology: The Cisco VNI™ Complete Forecast for 2016 to 2021 relies upon independent analyst forecasts and real-world network usage data. Upon this foundation are layered Cisco’s own estimates for global IP traffic and service adoption. A detailed methodology description is included in the complete report. Over its 12-year history, Cisco® VNI research has become a highly regarded measure of the Internet’s growth. National governments, network regulators, academic researchers, telecommunications companies, technology experts and industry/business press and analysts rely on the annual study to help plan for the digital future.

For access to the Infographics go here: “VNI Complete Forecast Update, 2016-2021”

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Matt Harchick
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Matt Harchick

Matthew has worked in both the private sector and in higher education for over twenty years. He specializes in the areas of digital media project management, broadcast engineering and media production. Matthew has extensive knowledge in digital post production, digital asset management, digital cinema production, and broadcast facility integration. Mr. Harchick actively researches state of the art broadcast, cutting edge digital cinema and smart audio visual technologies for client implementation and is available for your consultation needs.

Matt and his family currently reside in the Washington, D.C metro area.
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