Cisco: 'Internet of Things' to Propel IP Network Growth

According to Cisco, applications such as chipped livestock and smart meters are set to account for three percent of global IP traffic by 2017.

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Editor’s note:  As part of our special editorial partnership, Channelnomics is publishing this recent article from CRN in the UK.

The "Internet of Things" will have a measurable impact on global IP networks within four years, with machine-to-machine (M2M) traffic set to grow twentyfold by 2017.

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That is according to Cisco Systems Inc., whose "Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast 2012-2017" predicts total global IP traffic will swell threefold. By 2017, global fixed and mobile IP traffic will reach an annual run rate of 1.4 zettabytes and a monthly runrate of 121 exabytes per month (equivalent to 750 quadrillion text messages), up from 44 exabytes per month in 2012, Cisco said.

The Internet of Things, which refers to the networked connection of physical objects, is set for explosive growth, driven by M2M applications such as video surveillance, smart meters, asset/package tracking, chipped pets and livestock and digital health monitors, Cisco added.

Annual M2M IP traffic is forecast to expand twentyfold over the period, from 197 petabytes last year to 3.9 exabytes in 2017, propelling its share of overall global IP traffic from 0.5 percent to three percent.

In 2012, only 26 percent of Internet traffic originated with non-PC devices such as M2M, TVs, tablets and smartphones. But by 2017, the non-PC share of Internet traffic will grow to 49 percent, Cisco said.

Cisco said the overall growth in IP traffic will be driven by a rise in both the number of internet users and devices, faster broadband speeds, and increased use of video services and applications.

Over the period, the number of internet users globally will rise from 2.3 billion to 3.6 billion, equal to 48 percent of the world's population in 2017.

There will be more than 19 billion global network connections by 2017, up from 12 billion connections in 2012, the networking giant added. Meanwhile, the average fixed broadband speed will mushroom from 11.3 Mbps to 39Mbps while the number of internet video users will double to two billion.

Doug Webster, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Cisco, said the crystal-ball-gazing exercise sheds light on the seemingly insatiable demand for bandwidth across the globe.

"With more and more people, things, processes and data being connected in the Internet of Everything, the intelligent network and the service providers who operate them are more relevant than ever," he said.

For more UK channel coverage from CRN, visit

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