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Video to drive dramatic growth in Internet traffic, says Cisco report

The amount of HDTV and 3-D Internet video traffic worldwide is expected to grow 13 times between 2009 and 2014, according to the latest forecast from Cisco.

Last week, the company released its "Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, 2009-2014," projecting that by 2014 HD and 3-D traffic will account for 42 percent of all consumer Internet video traffic. By itself, 3-D will be responsible for 4 percent of total Internet video traffic by 2014, it said.

According to the company forecast, video in general will be a primary growth driver. By 2014, TV, VOD, Internet video, peer-to-peer video and all other video will account for more than 91 percent of global consumer Internet traffic. By the end of this year, the company said it expects global Internet video traffic to surpass peer-to-peer traffic. Taken together, there will be more than 1 billion users of online video by the end of the year, the Cisco forecast said.

The forecast also provided projections on the amount of global IP traffic as well as how much traffic will be present in various regions. Worldwide IP traffic will grow 4.3 times from 2009 to 2014, the forecast said. Monthly traffic in 2014 will hit 63.9EB, or the equivalent of 766.8EB annually. To put 64EB in perspective, the company said the sum is equivalent to 16 billion DVDs or 21 trillion MP3s.

North America will account for the highest amount of IP traffic by 2014 with 19EB per month. Asia Pacific will be responsible for 17.4EB monthly, followed by Western Europe with 16.2EB and Japan with 4.3EB per month.

Latin America will be the fastest growing region with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51 percent between 2009 and 2014. Next will be the Middle East and Africa with 45 percent CAGR and Central Europe with 38 percent CAGR.

Network speed has facilitated the growth in IP traffic. The company provided a comparison of download speeds between 2000 and 2010 to illustrate the point.