Home Industry Market Challenge for mobile operators: how to carry 149 petabytes per month

Cisco has released its latest global IP traffic forecasts - for the first time breaking out Australian specific data, which includes the forecast that, by 2015, Australian mobile networks will be carrying 149 petabytes per month as a result of data volumes doubling ever year from their 2010 level of just five petabytes per month.

Mobile data traffic is forecast to grow at three times the rate of fixed IP traffic. According to Cisco, it accounted for just five percent of total IP traffic in 2010, but this will rise to 29 percent of 54 petabytes per month by 2015, according to Cisco's forecasts, in its fifth annual global Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast (2010-2015).

Network connected devices will double from 47 million in 2010 to 84 million in 2015, Cisco says, but it has given no indication how many of these will use mobile as opposed to fixed networks.

Cisco is forecasting Australian Internet users to number 20 million by 2015, up from 14 million today with the average user generating 19.5GB of Internet traffic per month, up from 3.0GB in 2010. Eighty two percent of this traffic will be video, according to Cisco, some 15 billion minutes per month.

This figure seems somewhat conservative as it equates to only 25 minutes per user per day. Given the time Australian's spend watching TV and or DVDs, a reasonable substitution of current delivery technologies with IP delivered video would seem likely to push this figure higher.

Cisco is forecasting that Internet-video-to-television traffic in Australia will be 14 percent of consumer Internet video traffic by 2015, up from seven percent in 2010.

It says: "The increase in Internet video traffic highlights that Australians are seeking more visual, virtual and mobile Internet experiences. This has implications for key industry sectors such as education, retail and entertainment and how they may consider creating more interactive, engaging learning, shopping and social experiences for Australians."

Cisco developed th VNI Forecast to estimate global Internet Protocol traffic growth and trends. It is based on in-depth analysis and modelling of traffic, usage and device data from independent analyst forecasts.

According to Cisco, "The annual study, which began in 2008, has historically been accurate to within a three percent to five percent deviation - usually on the conservative side."

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Stuart Corner


Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.






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