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Video to be 80% of all Internet Traffic by 2021

rise in global internet traffic.jpg

The latest Cisco Visual Networking Index revises Internet traffic numbers upwards yet again.

Over the years the Cisco Visual Networking Index has provided compelling dataset after dataset charting the rise of internet traffic and video's role within it in particular. The latest report is no exception, predicting that global annual IP traffic will exceed three zettabytes by 2021. 80% of that will be video as well, up from 67% in 2016.

This, of course, has huge implications for the companies and organizations that have to construct the infrastructure to carry this volume of data. But the numbers don't end there. Other forecasts for 2021 include:

  • 1.9 billion Internet video users
  • One million video minutes passing over the networks per second
  • 5x increase in live internet video
  • Mobile traffic up from 10% of the total to 20%
  • VR/AR traffic to increase 20x

As well as larger technological changes such as 5G, one of the factors that seem to be accelerating traffic numbers is cord-cutting.

Cord-cutting household traffic is substantially higher than the background figure, as much as 86% higher. This year is expected to generate 117 GB per month, compared to just 63 GB per month for an average household.

A different perspective about cord-cutting here.

With 4K set penetration also set to increase - from 85 million sets and 15% of the flat panel installed base now, to 663 million sets and 56% in 2021 - that looks like another number set to rise dramatically in the future. Happily global average broadband speeds are also set to rise from 27.5 Mbps in 2016 to 53 Mbps in 2021 to cope. But even so, there are undeniable challenges ahead.


Chem Assayag

Chem Assayag is VO's Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. With a strong experience in the world of digital television and content services, and during his tenure at OpenTV, the worldwide leader in interactive television, he managed operations in Europe and the Middle East, growing revenues in the company’s largest business region. Chem also led the worldwide sales, marketing, and business development functions for the MediaHighway® product line at NDS (now part of Cisco Systems). In the late 2000s he was also a key figure in Europe’s mobile TV and mobile broadcast industry, leading Qualcomm’s MediaFLO division in the region. Aside from his corporate sales and business experience, Assayag is an entrepreneur who founded, managed, and sold his own company, and has also driven a number of business startups. Chem graduated in management from EM Lyon, and holds a postgraduate degree in media management from ESCP Europe.