IDC analysts say demand for online data will cause mobile broadband traffic to double every year through 2015.
An insatiable demand for online data worldwide is creating a
nightmare scenario for network administrators who are going to have to deal
with skyrocketing amounts of Internet-generated broadband traffic, according to
market research firm IDC.
In their "Worldwide Internet Broadband Bandwidth Demand
2012-2015 Forecast" report, IDC analysts said broadband traffic over fixed
networks could grow 50 percent every year over the next three years, while
traffic over mobile networks could essentially double every year.
Fueling the traffic increase are what the analysts called
power users, whose appetites for online data are eating up a disproportionate
share of bandwidth, IDC said in the report, which was released March 14.
"The enormous growth in end-user demand for both fixed
and mobile broadband services is staggering," Matt Davis, director of
consumer and SMB telecom services at IDC, said in a statement. "Despite
enormous growth projected in IDC's forecast, it is difficult to overestimate
this phenomenon. Fixed and mobile operators will have to deal with a new
reality that will tax network resources to the limitand perhaps past the
According to IDCs numbers, global end-user demand for data
will drive up both wired and mobile broadband traffic from the 9,665 petabytes
per month in 2010 to what IDC analysts said will be a jaw-dropping 116,539
petabytes a month in 2015.
There are a variety of applicationsfrom Web browsing and
peer-to-peer file sharing to audio/video streamingthat are driving the demand.
Theres also a build-it-and-they-will-come element to the
trend, according to IDC. The analysts noted a correlation between faster
broadband speeds and bandwidth usage. Essentially, when broadband capacity
increases, it leads to new services being adopted and usage increasing.
dovetail with the trend officials from networking giant Cisco Systems have been
talking about over the past couple of years. In their annual "Visual
Networking Index Forecast" last year
, Cisco researchers predicted that
global Internet traffic will reach 966 exabytes per year by 2015, and that the
growth alone between 2014 and 2015about 200 exabyteswould be more than the
total amount of Internet traffic seen globally in 2010.
An exabyte is 1 quintillion bytes, or 10 to the 18th
Were very much entering the zettabyte era, Doug Webster,
director of marketing for Cisco Service Provider, said at the time.
Cisco officials pointed to the rapid growth of
network-connected devices and the number of Internet users as reasons for the
continuing surge in Internet traffic. They predicted that by 2015, there would
be 15 billion network-connected devicesincluding PCs, smartphones, tablets and
Both Cisco and the IDC analysts pointed to high-definition
video being a key driver. The analysts said that more than 50 percent of video
and audio streaming will go to connected TVs, an Apple iPad, or another mobile
device or tablet.