Within the next five years, the majority of global internet traffic will be come from mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones rather desktop computers, according to new research by the networking equipment company Cisco.
Traffic will increase nearly three-fold over the next five years due to more internet users and devices, faster broadband speeds and more video viewing, it said on Tuesday, reaching an annual run rate of 1.6 zettabytes - which is more than one and a half trillion gigabytes.
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Further to this, it predicts that internet traffic for 2018 will be greater than all traffic that has ever been generated globally since 1984.
"The composition of IP (internet protocol) traffic will shift dramatically in the coming few years," the company said in an accompanying press release late Tuesday.
"During the forecast period, the majority of traffic will originate from devices other than personal computers (PCs) for the first time in the history of the internet. Wi-Fi traffic will exceed wired traffic for the first time and high-definition (HD) video will generate more traffic than standard definition (SD) video."
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Mobile and portable devices other than PCs will drive the majority of traffic by 2018 with a majority of 57 percent, it reported. This compares to 33 percent originated with non-PC devices in 2013.
The Internet of Everything is also touted as being key for this rapid change in technology usage, it said. A broad term used to describe everyday objects that are smart enough to all be connected via a network, Cisco say that there will be nearly as many machine-to-machine connections as there are people on earth.