Home Mobile devices Mobile traffic will approach one zettabyte by 2022: Cisco
Mobile traffic will approach one zettabyte by 2022: Cisco Pixabay

Mobile traffic will make up nearly 20% of global IP traffic by the end of 2022 and reach 930 exabytes each year, the networking giant Cisco says in its Mobile Visual Networking Index.

The VNI offers forecasts each year and according to this year's update — covering the period 2017 to 2022 — mobile traffic will be on the verge of a zettabyte annually, which is 113 times more than all global mobile traffic in 2012.

The VNI update also forecasts that average global mobile speeds will increase from 8.7Mbps in 2017 to 28.5Mbps in 2022.

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Cisco said by 2022, 5G connections were expected to make up more than 3% of the total mobile connections and account for about 12% of global mobile data traffic. By 2022, the average 5G connection was expected to generate about three times more traffic than the average 4G connection – 22GB a month, compared to 8GB.

For the traffic offload from mobile networks (cellular) to fixed networks (Wi-Fi), the following figures were provided:

  • In 2017, monthly offload traffic (13 EB) exceeded monthly mobile/cellular traffic (12 EB).
  • In 2017, 54% of total mobile data traffic was offloaded; by 2022, 59% of total mobile data traffic would be offloaded.
  • In 2017 total IP Traffic (fixed and mobile): 48% wired: 43% Wi-Fi and nine percent mobile.
  • In 2022 total IP Traffic (fixed & mobile): 29% wired, 51% Wi-Fi and 20% Mobile.
  • Globally, total Wi-Fi hotspots (including home spots) expected to grow 4X from 2017 (124 million) to 2022 (549 million).

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Jonathan Davidson, senior vice-president and general manager, Service Provider Business, Cisco, said: "As global mobile traffic approaches the zettabyte era, we believe that 5G and Wi-Fi will co-exist as necessary and complementary access technologies, offering key benefits to our enterprise and service provider customers to extend their architectures."

Graphics: courtesy Cisco


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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


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