Cisco, the world’s largest manufacturer of networking equipment on Thursday released a forecast via its Visual Networking Index which states that the total Internet traffic will break the zettabyte mark this year. The predictions don’t stop there, the company forecast also states that mobile phones will be the driving force for this development.

The Visual Networking Index, according to Cisco, is an ongoing initiative to track and forecast the impact of visual networking applications.

Cisco believes that the annual IP traffic will surpass the zettabyte (1000 exabytes) threshold in 2016. Not just this, the company also predicts that the total traffic will double in threshold by 2019. The company also reckons that global IP traffic will increase in threefold in the next five years.

Now getting back to what a zettabyte is, for those who do not know. One zettabyte is equal to a thousand exabytes. An exabyte, on the other hand, equals a thousand petabytes and a petabyte is a thousand terabytes. In short, a zettabyte is one sextillion bytes, which is a one followed by 21 zeros.

Cisco predicts that 5.5 billion people (almost 70 percent of the world’s population) will own mobile devices by 2020. This will push up the bar of overall traffic to double of what it is today. Apparently, the number of people with a mobile phone will exceed those who have electrical service, running water and a car, by this time.

The company also predicts that by 2019, global fixed broadband speeds will reach 43 Mbps, up from 20 Mbps in 2014.


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