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Can Tomorrow’s High-Speed Internet Keep up With the Demand for Video?

The high-speed Internet of tomorrow, built on fiber optic networks and 5G technology, will be put to the test by a growing demand for video applications.

The high-speed Internet of tomorrow, built on fiber optic networks and 5G technology, will be put to the test by a growing demand for video applications. Cisco projected in a 2019 white paper that by 2022, video will account for 82 percent of global IP traffic.

Based on data from Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI), the research presents some eye-popping numbers:

  • By 2022, the number of Internet users will grow to 4.8 billion, 60 percent of the world’s population, from 3.4 billion in 2017
  • Devices and connections will increase from 18 billion in 2017 to 28.5 billion in 2022
  • Broadband speeds will almost double from 39 Mbps in 2017 to 75.4 Mbps in 2022
  • Video traffic will increase from 75 percent of all IP traffic in 2017 to 82 percent in 2022

And while 4.7 zettabytes of IP traffic have streamed around the globe since 1984, Cisco’s numbers predict that we have not seen anything yet.

According to the VNI, “more traffic will be created in 2022 than in the 32 years since the Internet started.” Video applications, taking advantage of the dark fiber already installed around the globe, will make up much of our near-term Internet usage.

Video Usage Not Limited to Movies and TV Shows

While streaming Netflix movies and TV shows comes to mind when we think of global IP video traffic, growth in areas such as video surveillance, live video, Internet gaming traffic, and Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) traffic will help drive video usage.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic spurred growth in live video meetings, such as ZOOM calls, Cisco predicted that live video was projected to grow 15-fold from 2017 to 2022, to make up 17 percent of global IP video traffic.

The pandemic, with a good percentage of people continuing to work from home around the world, likely means that those live video traffic figures will be reached soon before 2022.

Other video applications on the rise:

  • Internet video surveillance traffic, part of the Smart Cities growth, will increase 7-fold between 2017 and 2022, accounting for 3 percent of all internet video traffic
  • VR and AR traffic will increase 12-fold between 2017 and 2022, a growth of 65 percent
  • Internet video to TV will triple by 2022, accounting for 27 percent of consumer Internet video traffic
  • Consumer video-on-demand will double with the equivalence of 10 billion DVDs being streamed each month in 2022
  • Internet gaming traffic will grow 9-fold with it accounting for 4 percent of global IP video traffic by 2022

Bandwidth Demands to Grow With Future Technology

The video applications lighting up today’s fiber optic networks require only a fraction of high-speed Internet bandwidth compared to future technology that will be unveiled soon. For example, today’s typical IP video 8 Mbps of bandwidth but newer 4K UHD tv’s required double that bandwidth or 16 Mbps. Current VR technology requires 17 Mbps.

According to Cisco’s white paper, that bandwidth usage is going to grow exponentially in the future with the following applications:

  • UHD IP Video will require 51 Mbps
  • 8K Wall TV, the next generation beyond 4K TV, will require 100 Mbps
  • HD VR will require 167 Mbps
  • UHD VR will need a whopping 500 Mbps or 62 times more bandwidth than today’s typical IP video

PS LIGHTWAVE is ready to help your Houston-area company or institution take advantage of the video demands of tomorrow with high-speed Internet, ethernet circuits and fiber network solutions.

PS LIGHTWAVE provides high-speed, fiber Internet for public and private commercial entities in the Greater Houston and surrounding areas.

Through our high-quality infrastructure, innovative technology and expert, locally based support, we deliver not only the best in connectivity and reliability but in scalability and redundancy. We invite you to learn more about our services, our history and our dedicated team.

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PS LIGHTWAVE, a leading telecommunications service provider headquartered in Houston, Texas, provides managed Ethernet Data Circuits, Internet, private network solutions and Voice over IP (VoIP) over one of the nation’s largest facilities-based private Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs). The switched Layer 2 network, backed by 24/7/365 Network Operations Center (NOC) support, encompasses approximately 5,500 route miles and 1,400 on-net locations and connects 100+ fault-tolerant multi-gigabit Ethernet rings for built-in redundancy, security, low latency, and high-availability. At PS LIGHTWAVE Great Connections Happen Here™.

For more information, please visit or call 832-615-8000.