Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s VNI report -- a global IP traffic forecast for 2017-2022 -- predicts that 14.6 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be in use by 2022, up from 6.1 billion in 2017: This means that Cisco expects around 50% of the total 28.5 billion device connections anticipated by 2022 will be IoT/machine-to-machine (M2M).
"We see this growth in virtually every region," said Thomas Barnett, director, Service Provider Marketing (Thought Leadership) at Cisco.
In global terms, Cisco states there will be 1.8 IoT/M2M connections for each member of the global population by 2022.
But what will drive this growth? The smart (connected) home segment, it seems. Cisco senior analyst Shruti Jain says this will include everything from home security and white goods to remote control lighting.
"It's the largest growing segment of M2M," she said, and it's expected that traffic to and from those connected devices will be running over a wireless connection.
That will affect global traffic patterns. By 2022, Cisco expects that WiFi and mobile network connections will account for 71% of IP traffic, with 29% running over fixed networks. In 2017, wired networks accounted for 48% of IP traffic, WiFi accounted for 43%, while mobile or cellular networks accounted for just 9% of total global IP traffic.
Ericsson, for comparison, is predicting that cellular-connected IoT devices will reach 3.5 billion by 2023, with China being the main driver. (See Ericsson's CTO Talks Up 5G Opportunities.)
Cisco, meanwhile, predicts that over 3% of global mobile devices and connections by 2022 will be 5G-capable. Early 5G networks are starting to run commercial services in the US now and this will expand globally during the next couple of years. (See 5G in the USA: Fall Edition.)
By 2022, Cisco expects the number of mobile devices will grow to 12.3 billion worldwide, of which 422 million will be 5G-capable.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading