Global internet traffic will grow nearly three times in the next four years due to an increase in internet-enabled devices and improved video streaming, prompting more people to watch the ongoing FIFA World Cup online, according to a new report.
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region continues to be the fastest-growing Internet Protocol (IP) traffic region from 2013 to 2018 with five-fold growth and a 38 % Compound Annual Growth Rate, said CiscoVisual Networking IndexGlobal Forecast and Service Adoption for 2013 to 2018.
According to the report, the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil has prompted tens of millions of people around the world to view the games on the Internet.
Video streaming and IP broadcast of the World Cup is expected to generate 4.3 exabytes Internet traffic alone, which is three times the amount of monthly traffic generated by Brazil.
"Major sporting events like the FIFA World Cup have highlighted the enormous consumer and business appetite for a better viewing experience over the Internet using either mobile or fixed devices and service providers are seeking new innovative technology solutions that will deliver this enhanced experience," FadyYounes, Regional Sales Manager and Client Director, Cisco, said.
To place the World Cup in context, the global IP traffic is expected to reach 132 exabytes per month by 2018, which is equivalent to 8.8 billion screens streaming the FIFA World Cup at the same time.
For the first time, the majority of IP traffic by 2018 will originate from mobile and portable devices other than personal computers (PCs).
Besides, WiFi traffic will exceed wired traffic and high-definition (HD) video will generate more traffic than standard-definition video.
Global broadband speeds will reach 42 Mbps by 2018, up from 16 Mbps at the end of 2013. Online video will be the fastest-growing residential Internet service growing from 1.2 billion users to 1.9 billion users by 2018.
In 2013, 33 % of IP traffic originated with non-PC devices. However, by 2018, the non-PC share of IP traffic will grow to 57 %, said the report.
WiFi and mobile-connected devices will generate 76 % of Internet traffic by 2018. WiFi will be 61 %, and cellular will be 15 %. Fixed traffic will be only 24 % of total Internet traffic by 2018.