Video Streaming to Account for 82 Percent of all Internet Traffic by 2022

Mike Wheatley

Networking company Cisco Systems says the rapid growth of video streaming services means there will be more Internet traffic in 2022 alone than there has been in the entire history of the world wide web up to that point.


Video streaming traffic will make up 82 percent of all of that traffic, the company’s Visual Networking Index forecast revealed.

Global IP traffic in 2022 is expected to be more than all of the web traffic generated in the 32 years combined since the Internet first started, Cisco clarified. That will happen even though more than two fifths of the world is still likely to be unconnected to the web at that stage. By 2022, Cisco says there will be 4.8 billion Internet users in the world, up from 3.4 billion today. Each person who is connected to the web will possess an average of three devices, totaling 28.5 billion devices in all.

In the UK alone the amount of web traffic generated in 2022 will be staggering. Cisco says that by then, the amount of data crossing UK networks every 26 minutes will be equivalent to that of all of the films ever made in the history of the world. That would be the equivalent of 37 billion films per year, or four million films per hour, Cisco said.

On an individual basis, people in the UK will own an average of ten devices or connections each and consumer around 200 gigabytes per month, up from six devices and 79 gigabytes per month in 2017.

Cisco says video is the main reason for this explosion of data. According to the report, Smart TVs will account 38 percent of all Internet traffic by 2022, up from 28 percent now. That’s even more than PCs, which will account for just 28 percent of IP traffic by 22 percent, compared to 51 percent now.

The growth of video traffic is being driven in part by the rise of Ultra HD, or 4K services, Cisco said. The bit rate for 4K video averages 15 to 18 Mbps, which is more than double the bit rate of HD video, and nine times greater than standard-definition video. Consumers are also expected to buy up 4K TVs in much greater numbers by 2022. By then, around two-thirds of all installed flat panel TVs in the world will be UHD sets, compared to 23 percent today. In addition, UHD video on demand content will account for 22 percent of all IP traffic in the world by 2022.

“Since we first started the VNI Forecast in 2005, traffic has increased 56-fold, amassing a 36% CAGR with more people, devices and applications accessing IP networks,” said Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager, service provider business, Cisco. “Our ongoing research helps us gain and share valuable insights into technology and architectural transitions our customers must make to succeed.”