Cisco Systems estimates 3.6 billion global Internet users by 2017, and more than 48% of the world's projected population of 7.6 billion, will push a trillion gigabytes around the Internet.
The mind-numbing numbers will support automated technologies, sending emails, downloading and uploading files, streaming video and music, searching for content, publishing Twitter tweets and Facebook posts, and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.
In 2012, there were 2.3 billion Internet users, about 32% of the world's population of 7.2 billion.
Content delivery networks will carry 51% of total Internet traffic by 2017, up from 34% in 2012. The explosion of content and data traversing the Internet will require faster speeds, as the Internet will create approximately 19 billion global network connections by 2017, up from 12 billion in 2012, according to The Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast published by Cisco. The average fixed broadband speed will rise to 39 Mbps in 2017, from 11.3 Mbps in 2012, in part to support the average Internet household that will generate 74.5 gigabytes of data traffic monthly, compared with 31.6 gigabytes last year.
Some of the increase will come from M2M connections like smart meters, video surveillance, or security systems that allow the homeowner through an Internet connection turn off lights or unlock doors. Annual global M2M IP traffic will grow 20 times, from 197 petabytes in 2012, or 0.5% of global IP traffic, to 3.9 exabytes by 2017 -- about 3% of global IP traffic.
Nearly half of total IP traffic will originate with non-PC devices, including tablets, smartphones and televisions by 2017. WiFi and mobile-connected devices will generate 68% of Internet traffic by 2017. Globally, the report estimates the rise of mobile consumers from 3.8 million in 2012 to 4.6 million by 2017. Data from mobile-connected devices, about 10 billion, will generate 11.2 exabytes monthly by 2017.
In 2017, the gigabyte equivalent of all movies ever made will cross global IP networks every three minutes. Global IP networks will deliver 13.8 petabytes every five minutes in 2017. The report estimates that TVs will account for more than 24% of global IP traffic, up from 23% in 2012, and 12% of Internet video traffic, up from 8% last year.