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Below are a few Internet trends to look out for in the coming years:
Annual global IP traffic will pass the zettabyte ([ZB] - 1000 exabytes [EB]) threshold by the end of 2016, and will reach 2.3 ZB per year by 2020. By the end of 2016, global IP traffic will reach 1.1 ZB per year, or 88.7 EB per month, and by 2020 global IP traffic will reach 2.3 ZB per year, or 194 EB per month.
Global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next 5 years - Overall, IP traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22 percent from 2015 to 2020. Monthly IP traffic will reach 25 GB per capita by 2020, up from 10 GB per capita in 2015. Busy-hour Internet traffic is growing more rapidly than average Internet traffic. Busy-hour (or the busiest 60‑minute period in a day) Internet traffic increased 51 percent in 2015, compared with 29-percent growth in average traffic. Busy-hour Internet traffic will increase by a factor of 4.6 between 2015 and 2020, and average Internet traffic will increase by a factor of 2.0.
Smartphone traffic will exceed PC traffic by 2020 - In 2015, PCs accounted for 53 percent of total IP traffic, but by 2020 PCs will account for only 29 percent of traffic. Smartphones will account for 30 percent of total IP traffic in 2020, up from 8 percent in 2015. PC-originated traffic will grow at a CAGR of 8 percent, and TVs, tablets, smartphones, and machine-to-machine (M2M) modules will have traffic growth rates of 17 percent, 39 percent, 58 percent, and 44 percent, respectively.
Traffic from wireless and mobile devices will account for two-thirds of total IP traffic by 2020 - By 2020, wired devices will account for 34 percent of IP traffic, and Wi-Fi and mobile devices will account for 66 percent of IP traffic. In 2015, wired devices accounted for the majority of IP traffic, at 52 percent.
Content delivery networks (CDNs) will carry nearly two-thirds of Internet traffic by 2020 - Sixty-four percent of all Internet traffic will cross CDNs by 2020 globally, up from 45 percent in 2015.
The number of devices connected to IP networks will be more than three times the global population by 2020 - There will be 3.4 networked devices per capita by 2020, up from 2.2 networked devices per capita in 2015. There will be 26.3 billion networked devices in 2020, up from 16.3 billion in 2015. Broadband speeds will nearly double by 2020. By 2020, global fixed broadband speeds will reach 47.7 Mbps, up from 24.7 Mbps in 2015.