Global Internet video traffic will surpass global peer-to-peer traffic by the end of 2010 Cisco Systems' third annual Visual Networking Index Forecast.

This will mark the first time in the last 10 years that peer-to-peer traffic will not be the largest Internet traffic type.

The annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast predicts that global Internet traffic will increase more than fourfold from 2009 to 2014, reaching 63.9 exabytes per month in 2014, up from approximately 56 exabytes per month in 2013.

The nearly 64 exabytes of global IP traffic per month projected for 2014 is equivalent to 16 billion DVDs; 21 trillion MP3's; or 399 quadrillion text messages.

The growth in traffic will continue to be dominated by video, which is expected to exceed 91 percent of global consumer IP traffic by 2014. Improvements in network bandwidth capacity and Internet speeds, along with the increasing popularity of HDTV and 3DTV are key factors in the increased traffic.

Some other interesting facts and predictions from the report include:
  • In just a decade, the average global residential Internet connection download speed has increased 35 times, which has helped to dramatically increase Internet usage. In 2000, the average global residential Internet connection download speed was 127 kilobits per second (Kbps). The current (2010) average global residential Internet connection download speed is 4.4 megabits per second (Mbps.)
  • By 2014, the highest IP-traffic generating regions will be North America (19.0 exabytes per month), Asia Pacific (17.4 exabytes per month), Western Europe (16.2 exabytes per month) and Japan (4.3 exabytes per month).
  • By 2014, it would take more than two years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks every second; to watch all the video crossing the network that year would take 72 million years.
  • Globally, advanced video traffic, including three-dimensional (3-D) and high-definition TV (HDTV), is projected to increase 13 times between 2009 and 2014.
  • By 2014, 3-D and HD video is forecast to comprise 42 percent of total consumer Internet video traffic.
  • Despite expected annual growth rates of 22%, global P2P traffic is expected to be 17 percent of global consumer Internet traffic in 2014, down from 36 percent in 2009.
  • Global mobile data traffic will increase 39 times from 2009 to 2014 reaching 3.5 exabytes per month.
  • Consumer IP traffic (web surfing, instant messaging, user-generated videos, etc.) represented 79 percent of monthly total global IP traffic and business IP traffic (email, voice, Internet, HD and web-based video conferencing, etc.) was 21 percent of monthly total global IP traffic in 2009. By 2014, consumer IP traffic will represent 87 percent of monthly traffic.

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