As per the latest report by Cisco, the internet user-base in India is set to grow exponentially. The number of users is set to go up by 59 percent or up to 829 million by 2021 as opposed to the present number of 373 million. The increase in the number of users also hints at an increase in the data consumption and the number of devices connected to internet. IP traffic is expected to increase four times in the next four years as internet-enabled devices will shoot up to 2 billion in 2021. To draw comparison, in 2016 there were 1.4 billion network connected devices in the country. Also Read - Cryptocurrency regulation bill: How worried are Indian investors?Also Read - Indian mobile gaming market to shoot up to at least $5 billion by 2025: Report
As present trends indicate, video will continue to drive traffic in the country. In 2016, internet video consumption drove barely 58 percent of the traffic, a number expected to go as high as 77 percent by 2021. The consumption rate as well as quality will increase in the next five years. Internet video traffic is expected to reach 3.0 Exabytes per month in 2021, (nearly 756 million DVDs per month/1 million DVDs per hour). In 2016, Consumer internet video traffic was 535 Petabytes per month (134 million DVDs per month/183,261 DVDs per hour). ALSO READ: Dubai International Airport launches scheme to turn smartphone into passport Also Read - India's first virtual science lab launched for students: Here's what the govt wants to acheive with it
“Mobile networks, devices and connections in India are not only getting smarter in their computing capabilities but are also evolving from lower-generation network connectivity (2G) to higher-generation network connectivity (3G, 3.5G, and 4G or LTE). Combining device capabilities with faster, higher bandwidth and more intelligent networks is leading to wide adoption of high bandwidth data, video and advanced multimedia applications that contribute to increased mobile and Wi-Fi traffic,” Sanjay Kaul, Managing Director, Service Provider Business, Cisco India & SAARC said. ALSO READ: 2-step authentication can easily be bypassed: NSA report
Expectedly, mobile video content will be the driving factor, expected to grow 7x from numbers in 2016. HD video traffic will dominate the market with a 51.4 percent share of of internet video traffic. With newer technologies coming in, the numbers are set to further improve. The connectivity in the country is also expected to go up with better public Wi-Fi hotspots, the Cisco report claims. Global Public Wi-Fi connectivity is expected to shoot up to 97 percent by 2021, which also includes Indian numbers, though the country is not expected to be in the top-five countries when it comes to connectivity.
Coming to the traffic from gaming, the numbers look strong with the traffic expected to grow 7x from 2016 to 2021, ‘a compound annual growth rate of 49 percent’, as per the report. “We are witnessing a burgeoning rise in usage of mobile applications and connectivity by end users. The need for optimized bandwidth management, network automation, e2e security and ultimately network monetization through cost efficient data production is fuelling the growth of network automation, mass market 4G deployments and adoption, soon to be followed with 4.5G and 5G,” Kaul added. “Service providers around the world are busy architecting their networks to be more autonomous and capable of handling high bandwidth to help them meet the growing end-users demand for more bandwidth, higher security, and faster connectivity on the move. Many providers have also started field trials for 5G and are gearing towards rolling out 5G deployments towards the end of the VNI forecast period.”