Home > Cisco VNI Forecast: Global IP Traffic to Increase 4-Fold by 2014

Cisco VNI Forecast: Global IP Traffic to Increase 4-Fold by 2014

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Cisco  announced the results of the annual Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, 2009-2014, which projects that global Internet traffic will increase more than 4-fold to 767 exabytes or more than 3/4 of a zettabyte by 2014. 

This number is 100 exabytes higher than the projected level in 2013, or an increase equivalent to 10 times all the traffic traversing Internet Protocol networks in 2008.

The growth in traffic will continue to be dominated by video, exceeding 91% 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 that will quadruple IP traffic from 2009 to 2014.


  • The Cisco VNI Forecast focuses on two primary user groups – consumers and businesses – and is an annual study to estimate global IP traffic growth and trends.  
  • Projections are based on Cisco analysis as well as modelling of traffic, usage and device data from independent analyst sources. Cisco validates its forecast, inputs and methodology with data provided by service providers worldwide.  
  • To help network users better understand global IP traffic growth drivers and trends, Cisco updated several of its unique resources:
  • The VNI Forecast widget provides customised views of the growth of various network traffic types around the globe (revised for this 2009 - 2014 forecast period).
  • The VNI PC Pulse application for desktop and laptop computers helps consumers learn more about their individual impact on IP networks and compare their network usage with that of others around the world.

Research Highlights:

Total Global IP Traffic in Bytes

  • Global IP traffic is expected to increase more than 4-fold (4.3 times) from 2009 to 2014, reaching 63.9 exabytes per month in 2014, up from approximately 56 exabytes per month in 2013. This is equivalent to 766.8 exabytes per year - almost three-quarters of a zettabyte – by 2014.
  • Nearly 64 exabytes of global IP traffic per month projected for 2014 is equivalent to 16 billion DVDs, 21 trillion MP3s or 399 quadrillion text messages.

Regional IP Traffic Trends

  • 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).
  • The fastest growing IP-traffic regions for the forecast period (2009-2014) are Latin America (51 percent compound annual growth rate [CAGR], 7.9-fold growth), the Middle East and Africa (45 percent CAGR, 6.5-fold growth) as well as Central Europe (38 percent CAGR, 5.1-fold growth).

Primary Growth Driver: Video

  • By 2014, the sum of all forms of video (TV, VoD, Internet video and peer-to-peer) will continue to exceed 91% of global consumer traffic.
  • Global Internet video traffic will surpass global peer-to-peer traffic by the end of 2010.
  • The global online video community will include more than 1 billion users by the end of 2010.
  • 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.  

3DTV and HD (Advanced Video)

  • 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 is expected to account for 4% of total Internet video traffic.
  • By 2014, 3-D and HD video is forecast to comprise 42% of total consumer Internet video traffic.

Global File Sharing

  • Global file sharing traffic is projected to reach 11 exabytes per month in 2014, 22% CAGR from 2009-2014.
  • P2P will grow at a CAGR of 16% while web-based and other file sharing will grow at CAGR of 47% from 2009 to 2014.
  • By 2014, global P2P traffic will be 17% of global consumer Internet traffic, down from 36% in 2009.

Global Business IP Traffic 

  • Global business IP traffic is forecast to reach 7.7 exabytes per month in 2014, more than tripling from 2009-2014.
  • Business video conferencing is projected to grow 10-fold over the forecast period, growing almost three times as fast as overall business IP traffic at a CAGR of 57% from 2009 to 2014.
  • Web-based video conferencing is the fastest growing sub-category, growing 180-fold from 2009 to 2014 (183% CAGR from 2009 to 2014).

Mobile Broadband

  • Global mobile data traffic will increase 39 times from 2009 to 2014.
  • By 2014, annual global mobile data traffic will reach 3.5 exabytes per month (or a run rate of more than 42 exabytes annually).

Consumer vs. Business

  • Consumer IP traffic is projected to grow faster than business:
  • For 2009, consumer IP traffic represented 79% of total monthly global IP traffic and business IP traffic was 21% of total monthly global IP traffic.
  • By 2014, consumer IP traffic (web surfing, instant messaging, user-generated videos, etc.) will represent 87% of total monthly global IP traffic, while business IP traffic (email, voice, Internet, HD and web-based video conferencing, etc.) will represent 13% of total monthly global IP traffic.

Network Speed Enables IP Traffic Growth: 2000 vs. 2010 Comparison

  • 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.)

Cisco VNI Forecast Widget:

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

Cisco VNI PC Pulse Application: 

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) PC Pulse application measures the amount and types of traffic that users generate from their PCs from web browsing, video or email. The application also provides a new ‘IP DNA’ abstract image that represents their personal usage preferences. Users can compare their individual data against aggregate global statistics from other Cisco VNI PC Pulse users around the world to see how they rate. 

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