News Release

New Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecasts Global IP Traffic to Increase Fivefold by 2013

Continue to See Growth Driven by High-Speed Broadband, Video, Mobility and Digital Multitasking
Jun 09, 2009

June 9, 2009


  • Today Cisco announced the results of the Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast and Methodology, 2008-2013 that confirms consumer broadband usage and global IP network traffic continues to climb at an overwhelming pace due to new forms and expanded usage of interactive media, and the explosion of video content across multiple devices. The study projects that global IP traffic will increase fivefold by 2013. There are key consumer and service provider implications to the forecast that compares regions around the globe including North America, Western Europe, AsiaPac, Middle East and more.
  • The Cisco VNI Forecast was developed to estimate global Internet Protocol traffic growth. Projections are based on Cisco analysis and modeling of independent analysts' forecasts.
  • Cisco has created several unique applications to provide a closer look at IP traffic growth around the world: 

Research Highlights:

Global Total IP Traffic 

  • Global IP traffic is expected to increase fivefold from 2008 to 2013, approaching 56 exabytes per month in 2013, up from approximately 9 exabytes per month in 2008.
  • By 2013, annual global IP traffic will reach two-thirds of a zettabyte (or 667 exabytes).   (A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes.)
  • IP traffic in North America will reach 13 exabytes per month by 2013, slightly ahead of Western Europe, which will reach 12.5 exabytes per month, and behind Asia Pacific (AsiaPac), where IP traffic will reach 21 exabytes per month
  • Middle East and Africa will grow the fastest, with a compound annual growth rate of 51 percent, reaching 1 exabyte per month in 2013.

Major Growth Driver: Video

  • By 2013, the sum of all forms of video (TV, VoD, Internet video, and P2P) will exceed 90 percent of global consumer IP traffic
  • Video communications traffic (video over instant messaging, video calls) will increase 10-fold from 2008 to 2013

Mobile Broadband

  • Mobile data traffic will roughly double each year from 2008 to 2013, increasing 66 times between 2008 and 2013.
  • Almost 64 percent of the world's mobile data traffic will be video in 2013. (Mobile video is the fastest-growing application category measured within the Cisco VNI.)

Impact of "Hyperconnectivity" on Networks:

  • Consumer Hyperconnectivity, (which includes active digital multitasking and passive networking), increases the "digital day" as IP networks support more and more tasks and functions simultaneously from a host of networked devices (e.g. TV, PC, mobile device, et al.)
  • By 2013, active digital multitasking, such as listening to online music while working online or web browsing/instant messaging while talking on the phone, will add six "network hours" to each day
  • By 2013, passive networking, such as DVR recording while watching other network programming, online storage backups conducted in the background of user experiences, or ambient video from such devices as a security or nanny-cam, will add another six "network hours" to each day
  • Today, there are 36 hours in a "network day." There will be approximately 48 hours in a network day by 2013.

Global Impact of Video Networking on Screen Size:

  • Digital screens of all types are proliferating along with other consumer devices. Not only is the number of networked devices multiplying, but the number of devices that have screens encourages more video consumption. The larger screen sizes are also accelerating the demand for higher-resolution video, thereby increasing the IP traffic required for each stream.
  • By 2013 the surface area of the world's digital screens will be nearly 11 billion square feet (1 billion square meters), or the equivalent of 2 billion large-screen TVs. Together, this amount would be more than 15 times the surface area of Manhattan. If laid end-to-end, these screens would circle the globe more than 48 times.

Cisco VNI Forecast Widget:

Media/Analysts/Bloggers: Download Cisco's interactive VNI Forecast widget to create custom forecast charts and views by region, application and end-user segment.
Get the Cisco VNI Forecast Widget

*VNI forecast chart featuring the projected terabytes (TB) per month that various visual networking applications will generate from 2008 - 2013.

Enhanced Consumer Applications:

Cisco VNI PC Pulse Application:
The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) PC Pulse application allows you to see how your online behavior affects the networks you use. This application measures the amount and types of bandwidth used by the PC from the Web and other networks, delivering a personal "IP footprint" of your usage. You can compare your personal data against the statistics from other Cisco VNI PC Pulse users around the world to see how you rate.
Get Cisco PC Pulse

Cisco Global Internet Speed Test (GIST):
This application for iPhone/iPod Touch and BlackBerry Storm measures total mobile network speeds from your current network location (cellular or Wi-Fi). Users can submit their test locations, enabling the global user community to learn the places with the fastest speeds and to compare cellular and Wi-Fi speeds with iPhone and Blackberry Storm users around the world.
Get Cisco GIST



Cisco, IP Traffic, Visual Networking, VNI, Hyperconnectivity, Mobile Broadband, Video, IP Video, Video Networking, Service Provider


Supporting Quote:

  • "As the worldwide leader in networking technology for the Internet, Cisco has a unique ability to gather and interpret IP network data," said Tony Bates, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Service Provider Group. "Our annual VNI forecast demonstrates how visual networking is fundamentally changing the way we communicate, collaborate, view and share all types of content. It also provides another example of the extent that we partner with our customers to help them prepare and take full advantage of the dynamic network landscape in the years ahead."

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