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Half of world’s population will be online by 2017

Global IP traffic is set to grow three-fold between 2012 and 2017, according to research from Cisco, whose latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast predicts that more than a trillion gigabytes will be transmitted over IP networks each year by 2017.

One of the key drivers behind this growth will be more users; around 3.6bn internet users are expected by 2017, representing almost half (48%) of the world’s projected population of 7.6bn. In 2012, there were 2.3bn internet users—about 32% of the world’s population.

In addition, there will be more than 19bn global network connections by 2017, Cisco said. These will include fixed and mobile devices, as well as M2M appliances. There were 12bn connections in 2012.

Cisco’s forecast also projects that globally, the average fixed broadband speed will increase 3.5-fold from 2012 to 2017, from 11.3 Mbps to 39 Mbps.

Users will also consume three trillion minutes of online video per month on fixed and wireless networks, which equates to six million years of video per month, equivalent to more than two years worth of video every second.

The role of “non-PC” devices is set to grow even further too, Cisco reported. In 2012, 26% of internet traffic originated from non-PC devices, but by 2017 the non-PC share of traffic will grow to 49%.

While PC-originated traffic is set to grow at a 14% CAGR, other devices will have higher traffic growth rates over the forecast period: connected TVs are set to increase traffic by 24%, tablets 104% , smartphones 79% and machine-to-machine (M2M) modules 82%.

Doug Webster, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Cisco, said: “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.”

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