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Video will represent 91 percent of all IP traffic by 2014

Hold on to your IP hats; IP traffic is exploding, and video apps are leading the charge. Cisco released its annual IP usage forecast this month, and it confirms that the growth of IP continues to break all records.

To help make some sense of the forecast, here are some key data points from the survey:

Video highlights:

• Total video IP traffic (TV, video on demand, Internet and P2P) will continue to exceed 91 percent of global consumer usage by 2014. Internet video alone will account for 57 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2014.

• Internet video represents more than one-third of all consumer Internet traffic and will approach 40 percent of consumer Internet traffic by the end of 2010, not including the amount of video exchanged through P2P file sharing.

• 3-D and HD video traffic will increase by 23 times between 2009 and 2014. By 2014, 3-D and HD Internet video will comprise 46 percent of consumer Internet video traffic.

Internet highlights:

• Annual global IP traffic will exceed three-quarters of a zettabyte (767 exabytes) in four years. (To better comprehend just how large these numbers are, see Table 1 to the right for contextual definitions.) Global IP traffic grew 45 percent during 2009 reaching an annual run rate of 176 exabytes per year or 15 exabytes per month. The average monthly traffic in 2014 will be equivalent to 32 million people streaming "Avatar" in 3-D, continuously for the entire month.

• Global IP traffic will quadruple from 2009 to 2014. Overall, IP traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34 percent.

Mobile highlights:

• Globally, mobile data traffic will double every year through 2014, increasing 39 times between 2009 and 2014. Mobile data traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 108 percent between 2009 and 2014, reaching 3.6 exabytes per month by 2014.

• Almost 66 percent of the world's mobile data traffic will be video by 2014. Mobile video will grow at a CAGR of 131 percent between 2009 and 2014. The Cisco data reveals that mobile video has the highest growth rate of any application category measured within the mobile data portion of the Cisco VNI Forecast.

By year’s end, Internet video will exceed P2P file sharing as the top traffic type. Video to the PC will account for 42 percent of growth, and Internet video delivered to the TV, what is being called over-the-top delivery, will account for 17 percent of this IP traffic growth.

The key six video data points are summarized in Figure 1 to the left. An interactive widget is available at the Cisco Visual Networking Index website. It will allow you to develop your own custom graphs based on selected data and demographics.