The amount of increment in online rich media consumption is booming in an exponential manner on an annual basis, but one has to wonder how much video traffic projects over the next five years? What does this growth even represent for global residents, businesses, mobile subscribers and service providers altogether? In today’s world, we know what petabytes and Exabytes are, but according to the latest developments and findings from the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI), the term “Zettabyte” will be added to our dictionary by the dawn of 2015. Global Internet traffic was initially measured in megabytes, but since the advent of the rapid increase in file sharing, video calling and video web mail, annual global IP traffic will soon surpass three-quarters of a Zettabyte.

It is said that by 2015, the majority of global Internet traffic, which is about 61 percent, will be in some form of video, for example: Internet video-to-TV, Internet video-to-PC, mobile video, etc.The “dawn of the Zettabyte era” will be an unprecedented online milestone that will occur in our lifetime and the implications of this we cannot even begin to understand. This would literally lead to the quadrupling of Internet traffic, propelled by the explosion in the number of people and devices that are connected.The rapid increase in internet traffic is basically fuelled by the sum total of Internet users and the number of internet or network connected devices. Experts predict that by the end of 2015 there will be around 15 billion varying network connected devices from laptops, cell phones, tabs and various other gadgets! Each person would average out two connections minimum which, when compared to 2010 was just one connection per person.

 Dawn of the zettabyte era Internet in 2015

It is foreseen that every American user will have more than seven devices and gadgets plugged into the Internet. Cisco predicts that the kinds of connected gadgets would vary widely and increase in an exponential manner. In 2010, internet traffic was chiefly generated by PC users. However, by 2015, this trend is expected to see a major drop. This is a key reflection of the rise of the usage of smart phones, tablets; connected televisions and several other devices consumers use to access the Internet.The internet is very visual in nature and thus there will be strong hike in the usage of videos to make the whole internet experience leave an ocular effect on the users.

Increase in video is directly proportional to a greater requirement for bandwidth. It is estimated by Cisco that online video users, globally, will increment massively in 2015. Moreover, the quality of videos being put up will evolve and improve as well. Gone are the days when we have to wait for several minutes for a video of poor quality to buffer. Longer media has become increasingly common, from television shows and movies, to live events being streamed to devices, all simultaneously! It can be hence easily said that the trend in video is not just driven by short forms like YouTube videos, which merely run for a few minutes.

As broadband is ramping, the mean fixed broadband speed is predicted to increase by a whopping factor of four in 2015.Another factor that will help in the growth of traffic is mobility. The mobile internet traffic data will be approximately 26 times more than what it used to be in 2010. This shows us the evolution of the Internet.

The global internet traffic is envisioned to go beyond 966 exabytes per annum, according to Cisco in its annual Visual Networking Index Forecast. To better understand these terms we can simply say, an exabyte is equal to 1 quintillion bytes that is, 10 to the 18th power.A Zettabyte is equal to 1 sextillion bytes or 1 trillion gigabytes. A Zettabyte is roughly 1000 Exabytes. If one has to place that amount of volume in a more practical manner, oneexabytealone is capable of holding over 36,000 years’ worth of HD quality video or streaming the entire Netflix catalogue more than 3,000 times!  A zettabyte, in the most facile manner, is equivalent to about 250 billion DVDs.  One cannot even begin to comprehend the vastness looking at these numbers, but 2015 sure has something huge planned for us.


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