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Mobile video to account for 75% of data traffic by 2020

Cisco has released its latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) Mobile Forecast, which calculates that the huge surge in users, smart devices, video and 4G networks will cause mobile data traffic to increase eightfold over the next five years.

The VNI reports that mobile video will be the largest driving factor behind data traffic – with 4G usage set to increase as consumers and business crave more bandwidth, higher video resolution, and enhanced processing speed. Cisco forecasts 4G to overtake 2G by share of connections by 2018, and 3G by 2020.

Cisco claims that more than 75% of global mobile data traffic will be video by 2020, up from 72% by 2019. It also forecasts an annual run rate of 366.8 exabytes of mobile data traffic by 2020 – equivalent to seven trillion video clips, or more than 2.5 daily video clips per person on earth for a year. Smart mobile devices and connections (minimum of 3G connectivity) are forecast to make up 72% of the total by 2020, up from 36% in 2015.

Cisco’s figures project there will be 5.4bn people with mobile phones by 2020, which will be more than people with electricity (5.3bn), running water (3.5bn) and cars (2.8bn). Wearable devices are set to reach a volume of more than 600m by the same date, and M2M connections (including wearables) will represent 26.4% of mobile-connected devices, up from 7.7% in 2015.

By region, the Middle East and Africa is set to experience the largest mobile data traffic growth rate, increasing 15fold in the five-year period; while Asia-Pacific will increase ninefold; central and eastern Europe and Latin America eightfold; and western Europe and north America sixfold, according to the VNI.

“With the ever-increasing billions of people and things that are being connected, mobility is the predominant medium that’s enabling today’s global digitization transformation,” said Doug Webster, VP of service provider marketing at Cisco. “Future mobile innovations in cellular, such as 5G, and WiFi solutions, will be needed to further address new scale requirements, security concerns, and user demands. IoT advancements will continue to fuel tangible benefits for people, businesses and societies.”

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