Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) forecast looks at the period of 2011-2016 and is based on data collected from service providers and analysts. The new forecast is predicting that in 2016 the total volume of Internet traffic will be 1.3 zettabytes (ZB). Just to put that into perspective somewhat, one zettabyte is equal to one trillion gigabytes (GB).
Growth in video as a percent of traffic stands in contrast to the growth of peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic. At the end of 2011 P2P traffic accounted for 77 percent of global consumer Internet traffic. That percentage is set to fall to 54 percent by 2016, as more traffic moves to video.
Another key shift that is occurring is the one towards wireless networking. Cisco is forecasting that 51 percent of all global Internet traffic will be Wi-Fi based by 2016 while an additional 10 percent of traffic will use mobile broadband.