Cisco's Crystal Ball Reveals 19 Billion Internet Connections in 2016

Paul Lilly

With smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices generating increased online traffic, the Internet is growing at a frenzied pace. Cisco attempted to quantify the state of the Internet, and as part of the company's Visual Networking Index (VNI), which is Cisco's ongoing effort to forecast and analyze the growth and use of IP networks worldwide, it was suggested the Internet will be four times as large in four years as it is today.

Cisco expects worldwide devices and connections to grow to almost 19 billion in that time frame, nearly doubling from 2011 to 2016. All those connections will increase global IP traffic to 1.3 zettabytes, which is equivalent to 1.3 trillion gigabytes.

"The projected increase of global IP traffic between 2015 and 2016 alone is more than 330 exabytes, which is almost equal to the total amount of global IP traffic generated in 2011 (369 exabytes)," Cisco said .

Cisco identified a number of factors contributing to such staggering IP traffic growth, chief among them an increasing number of devices, especially tablets and mobile phones. Other factors include more Internet users, faster broadband speeds, more video (Cisco expects that by 2016, 1.2 million video minutes will travel the Internet every second), and Wi-Fi growth.

Image Credit: Flickr (RambergMediaImages)

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