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Cisco's Visual Networking Index

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Mobile data traffic volumes are growing at an increasing rate due to the wider availability of LTE networks, an increase in smartphone usage and the emergence of machine-to-machine (M2M) connections. According to Cisco's latest Visual Networking Index (VNI), this traffic will continue to grow 10-fold in the next five years.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) publishes its VNI twice a year, warning operators about the meteoric rise of data usage (and hoping they'll use its equipment and services to cope with it). This year, the networking vendor says 88% of global mobile data traffic was "smart in 2014" (i.e. using a minimum of 3G connectivity and advanced computing capabilities), but that number will rise to 97% by 2019. (See Cisco VNI: Make Way for HD & 4K Video.)

At the same time, Cisco expects the number of wearable devices globally will grow five-fold, reaching 578 million by 2019, up from 109 million in 2014. In addition, 26% of all global devices and connections will be 4G capable by 2019.

Helping alleviate some of the cellular strain is the increasing use of WiFi access. Cisco says that in 2014, 46% of total mobile data traffic was offloaded, a figure that will reach 54% in 2019. By that time, voice-over-WiFi use will also account for 53% of all mobile IP traffic, Cisco predicts.

Check out Cisco's infographic below for more global and regional stats and projections from the February 2015 edition of the VNI.

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