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India's mobile traffic will grow 7.4-fold by '21: Cisco-VNI

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MUMBAI: By 2021, more members of the global population[1] will be using mobile phones (5.5 billion) than bank accounts (5.4 billion), running water (5.3 billion), or landlines (2.9 billion), according to the 11th annual Cisco Visual Networking Index™ (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast (2016 to 2021). Strong growth in mobile users, smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) connections as well as network speed improvements and mobile video consumption are projected to increase mobile data traffic seven-fold over the next five years.

By 2021, Cisco projects mobile data traffic will achieve the following milestones:

Mobile data traffic to represent 20 percent of total IP traffic—up from just 8 percent of total IP traffic in 2016 1.5 mobile devices per capita. Nearly 12 billion mobile-connected devices (up from 8 billion and 1.1 per capita in 2016), including M2M modules Mobile network connection speeds will increase three-fold from 6.8 Mbps in 2016 to 20.4 Mbps by 2021 Machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will represent 29 percent (3.3 billion) of total mobile connections—up from 5 percent (780 million) in 2016. M2M will be the fastest growing mobile connection type as global IoT applications continue to gain traction in consumer and business environments 4G will support 58 percent of total mobile connections by 2021—up from 26 percent in 2016, and will account for 79 percent of total mobile data traffic The total number of smartphones (including phablets) will be over 50 percent of global devices and connections (6.2 billion)—up from 3.6 billion in 2016

The explosion of mobile applications and adoption of mobile connectivity by end users is fueling the growth of 4G, soon to be followed by 5G growth. Cisco and other industry experts anticipate large-scale deployments of 5G infrastructures to begin by 2020. Mobile carriers will need the innovative speed, low latency, and dynamic provisioning capabilities that 5G networks are expected to deliver not just increasing subscriber demands, but also new services trends across mobile, residential, and business markets. Cisco forecasts that 5G will account for 1.5 percent of total mobile data traffic by 2021, and will generate 4.7 times more traffic than the average 4G connection and 10.7 times more traffic than the average 3G connection.

“With the proliferation of IoT, live mobile video, augmented and virtual reality applications, and more innovative experiences for consumer and business users alike, 5G technology will have significant relevance not just for mobility but rather for networking as a whole,” said Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing at Cisco. “As a result, broader and more extensive architectural transformations involving programmability and automation will also be needed to support the capabilities 5G enables, and to address not just today’s demands but also the extensive possibilities on the horizon.”

Cisco India & SAARC managing director - service provider business Sanjay Kaul says,

“As India leaps towards a digital economy, 2016 alone saw a huge growth in mobile traffic – by 76% from last year and, by 2021 consumer mobile traffic will grow 7.4-fold at a CAGR of 49% y-o-y. Much of this growth will be fueled by massive consumer adoption of smartphones, IoT, smart devices and use of machine-to-machine connections with an estimated 1,380 million mobile-connected devices by 2021. As the Internet of Everything gains momentum, we are clearly headed towards a new era in Internet communications, with M2M connections predicted to increase 17-fold at a CAGR of 76% y-o-y. The way we use connectivity in devices today will change businesses, government, healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, retail, transportation and other key industries.”

Key India Findings:

 

·    In India, mobile data traffic grew 2.2 times faster than Indian fixed IP traffic in 2016

o    In India, the average mobile-connected end-user device generated 251 megabytes of mobile data traffic per month in 2016, up 67% from 151 megabytes per month in 2015

o    In India, the average smartphone generated 559 megabytes of mobile data traffic per month in 2016, up from 430 megabytes per month in 2015

o    In India, the average PC generated 2,166 megabytes of mobile data traffic per month in 2016, up from 1,665 megabytes per month in 2015

o    In India, the average tablet generated 2,228 megabytes of mobile data traffic per month in 2016, up from 1,671 megabytes per month in 2015

·    In India, mobile data traffic will grow 7-fold from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 49%.

o    In India, mobile data traffic will grow 2 times faster than fixed IP traffic from 2016 to 2021

o    In India, mobile data traffic will account for 29% of Indian fixed and mobile data traffic by 2021, up from 15% in 2016

o    In India, 60% of mobile connections will be 'smart' connections by 2021, up from 19% in 2016

o    In India, 93% of mobile data traffic will be 'smart' traffic by 2021, up from 62% in 2016

·    In 2016, India's consumer mobile data traffic grew 1.8-fold, or 76%

o    In India, consumer mobile traffic will grow 7.4-fold from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 49%

o    Consumer will account for 90% of India's mobile data traffic by 2021, compared to 89% at the end of 2016

·    In India, business mobile traffic will grow 7.1-fold from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 48%

o    Business will account for 10% of India's mobile data traffic by 2021, compared to 11% at the end of 2016

·    In India, mobile video traffic will grow 11.5-fold from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 63%.

o    In India, the number of video capable devices and connections will grow 2.2-fold between 2016 and 2021, reaching 814 million in number

o    Video will be 75% of India's mobile data traffic by 2021, compared to 49% at the end of 2016.

o    Video reached half of India's mobile data traffic by year-end 2017

·    In India, cloud applications will account for 91% of total mobile data traffic by 2021, compared to 80% at the end of 2016

o    In India, mobile cloud traffic will grow 8.4-fold from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 53%.

·    In India, 59.6 million net new devices and connections were added to the mobile network in 2016.

o    In India, there will be 1,380 million mobile-connected devices by 2021, approximately 1.0 per capita for this region/country

o    In India, 4G connections will grow 5-fold from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 38%

o    India's 3G connections surpass 2G connections by 2019

o    In India, 2G connections will be 19.1% of total mobile connections by 2021, compared to 75.5% in 2016

o    In India, the number of smart devices will grow 4.2-fold between 2016 and 2021, reaching 823 million in number

o    In India, smart devices will be 59.6% of total mobile connections by 2021, compared to 18.5% in 2016

o    In India, the number of smartphones will grow 2.2-fold between 2016 and 2021, reaching 781 million in number

·    In India, the number of wearable devices will reach 6.8 million in number by 2021, up from 2.5 million in 2016, a compound annual growth rate of 23%

o    In India, the number of wearable devices with embedded cellular connections will reach 0.8 million in number by 2021, up from 0.1 million in 2016, a compound annual growth rate of 45%

·    In India, M2M traffic will grow 17-fold from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 76%

o    In India, M2M traffic will reach 44.7 Petabytes per month by 2021

o    In India, M2M will account for 2% of total mobile data traffic by 2021, compared to 1% at the end of 2016

o    In India, the number of mobile-connected M2M modules will grow 6.2-fold between 2016 and 2021, reaching 91 million in number

Key findings & milestones:

 

1.   Rise in global mobile data center traffic

·  By 2021, global mobile data traffic will reach 49 exabytes per month, or 587 exabytes annually

·  The forecast annual run rate of 587 exabytes of mobile data traffic for 2021 is equivalent to:

·  122 times more than all global mobile traffic generated just 10 years ago (in 2011)

·  131 trillion images (e.g. MMS)

2.  High growth for live video on mobile

Mobile video will increase 8.7-fold from 2016 to 2021 and will have the highest growth rate of any mobile application category. Mobile video will represent 78 percent of all mobile traffic by 2021

Live mobile video will grow 39-fold from 2016 to 2021. Live mobile video will represent 5 percent of total mobile video traffic by 2021

3. Growth in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

VR immerses users in a simulated environment. AR is an overlay of technology on the real world

Applications such as VR are adding to the adoption of wearables such as headsets

VR headsets will grow from 18 million in 2016 to nearly 100 million by 2021— a five-fold growth

Globally, VR traffic will grow 11-fold from 13.3 petabytes/month in 2016, to 140 petabytes/ month in 2021

Globally, AR traffic will grow seven-fold between 2016 and 2021, from 3 petabytes/month in 2016 to 21 petabytes /month in 2021

4. Global connected wearable devices driving M2M growth

Cisco estimates there will be 929 million wearable devices globally, growing nearly threefold from 325 million in 2016

Globally, the number of wearable devices with embedded cellular connections will reach 69 million in number by 2021—up from 11 million in 2016.

5. Mobile data traffic offload to Wi-Fi networks

In 2016, 60 percent of total mobile data traffic was offloaded; by 2021, 63 percent of total mobile data traffic will be offloaded

In 2016, monthly offload traffic (10.7 EB) exceeded monthly mobile/cellular traffic (7.2 EB)

Globally, total public Wi-Fi hotspots (including homespots) will grow six-fold from 2016 (94.0 million) to 2021 (541.6 million)

Wi-Fi traffic from both mobile devices and Wi-Fi-only devices, together, will account for almost half (49 percent) of total IP traffic by 2020, up from 42 percent in 2015.

6. Regional mobile data traffic growth (2016 – 2021)

The Middle East and Africa will have 12-fold growth

(2016: 7.3 exabytes/year; 2021: 88.4 exabytes/year)

Asia-Pacific will have 7-fold growth

(2016: 37.3 exabytes/year; 2021: 274.2 exabytes/year)

 Latin America will have 6-fold growth

(2016: 5.4 exabytes/year; 2021: 34.8 exabytes/year)       

Central and Eastern Europe will have 6-fold growth

(2016: 11.1 exabytes/year; 2021: 63.0 exabytes/year)

Western Europe will have 6-fold growth

(2016: 8.8 exabytes/year; 2021: 50.3 exabytes/year)

North America will have 5-fold growth

(2016: 16.9 exabytes/year; 2021: 76.8 exabytes/year)

 

Cisco Mobile VNI Forecast Methodology

The Cisco® VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast (2016‑2021) relies upon independent analyst forecasts and real-world mobile data usage studies. Upon this foundation are layered Cisco's own estimates for mobile application adoption, minutes of use and transmission speeds. Key enablers such as mobile broadband speed and device computing power are also factored into Cisco mobile VNI projections and findings.

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