Cisco: Video Will Account for 80 Percent of IP Traffic by 2018

By 2018, annual global IP traffic will expand to 1.6 zettabytes—greater than 1.5 trillion gigabytes—which is more than all the traffic generated on the Internet between 1984 and 2013. That’s according to Cisco, which released its annual Visual Networking Index in June, revealing its projection that global Internet traffic will triple during the next five years.

The cause of that increase? More and more people will join the trend of watching video over the Internet—whether it’s on a computer, a mobile device or a television set via a device like Roku.

But according to Cisco, IP video will account for an impressive 79 percent of all Internet traffic by 2018, up the 66 percent it accounted for in 2013. In addition to that, ultra-high-definition video will account for 11 percent of IP video traffic, up from 0.1 percent in 2013. HD video will account for 52 percent of the traffic (an increase from 36 percent in 2013), while standard definition video will account for the remaining 37 percent, down from 64 percent.

Other highlights of the study include:

  • By 2018, 86 percent of households—1.5 billion—will be digital TV households.
  • Video-on-demand will be the fastest-growing digital television service, expanding from 306 million subscribers to 451 million by 2018.
  • There will be 3.7 connected devices per household by 2018.
  • For the first time ever, a majority of Internet traffic will not originate from personal computers, but from other devices; similarly, Wi-Fi traffic will be more common than traffic sent through a cable.

As the speed with which we connect to the Internet accelerates and we enjoy a more seamless IP video experience where buffering becomes a relic of the past, we can expect to see IP video become even more pervasive.