Cisco’s John Chambers is betting the future of the networking giant on an “Internet of things.”

And a new report shows that those “things” will be mobile.

We all know the Internet is growing, that the amount of data is exploding, that the “cloud” of the future will be filled with 1s and 0s on a scale that could have hardly been imagined just 20 years ago when people thought clouds meant rain. 

We all know that broadband is a huge demand from consumers and businesses who want instantaneous access to entertainment and information.

What Cisco says now in its Cisco Visual Networking Index is that there will be more MOBILE data than LANDLINE.

“The projected 2012 to 2017 global mobile data traffic increase represents a compound annual growth rate of 66 percent,” Cisco reports. “The incremental amount of traffic being added to the mobile Internet just between 2016 and 2017 is 3.7 exabytes per month, which is more than four times the estimated size of the entire mobile Internet in 2012 (885 petabytes per month).”

But get this nugget:

“During the 2012 to 2017 forecast period, Cisco anticipates that global mobile data traffic will outpace global fixed data traffic by a factor of three.”


And INCREASING SPEED is enabling as well encouraging the switch to all-things mobile.

“The average mobile connection is expected to increase seven-fold from 2012 to 2017. Mobile connection speeds are a key factor in supporting mobile data traffic growth,” Cisco says.

In kbps, average mobile speeds and average smartphone speeds now and as forecast:

  • 2012: 526 kbps; 2,064 kbps
  • 2013: 817 kbps; 2,664 kbps
  • 2014: 1,233 kbps; 3,358 kbps
  • 2015: 1,857 kpbs; 4,263 kbps
  • 2016: 2,725 kbps; 5,284 kbps
  • 2017: 3,898 kpbs; 6,528 kbps

The “Mobile Internet of Things”

So we’re looking at a “mobile Internet of things.”

Smartphones – computers in your hands, really – and tablets are transforming how people access and use data worldwide.

Wireless networks, such as the latest 4G LTE, enable mobile broadband access.

New WiFi technology is promising even more speed.

And how many of us connect laptops – even desktops or smart TVs and other devices – over WiFi networks in our homes to a high-speed Internet router?

“The expected steady increase in mobile traffic is partly due to continued strong growth in the number of mobile Internet connections (personal devices and machine-to-machine applications), which will exceed the world’s population (United Nations estimates 7.6 billion) by 2017,” Cisco says.

And it’s not just human-controlled devices driving the growth.

Don’t Forget the Machines

Look at some of these numbers. They are impressive.

  • “More mobile users: By 2017, there will be 5.2 billion mobile users (up from 4.3 billion in 2012).
  • “More mobile connections: By 2017, there will be more than 10 billion mobile devices/connections, including more than 1.7 billion M2M connections (up from 7 billion total mobile devices and M2M connections in 2012).
  • “Faster mobile speeds: Average global mobile network speeds will increase seven-fold from 2012 (0.5 Mbps) to 2017 (3.9 Mbps).
  • “More mobile video: By 2017, mobile video will represent 66 percent of global mobile data traffic (up from 51 percent in 2012).”

M2M refers to machine-to-machine communications. As all our devices track where we are and what we are doing, a machine somewhere else will be gathering and analyzing that data for further use.

Here’s how Cisco breaks down growth by sector and noting the latest version of Internet Protocol (IP) standards that should improve addressing as well as other issues:

  • “Smartphones, laptops, and tablets will drive 93 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2017.
  • “M2M traffic (such as GPS systems in cars, asset tracking systems, medical applications, etc.) will represent 5 percent of 2017 global mobile data traffic.
  • “Basic handsets will account for the remaining 2 percent of global mobile data traffic in 2017.
  • “In 2012, 14 percent of all mobile-connected devices/connections (1 billion) were IPv6-capable.
  • “By 2017, 41 percent of all mobile-connected devices/connections (4.2 billion) will be IPv6-capable.”

Where will the growth take place?


Notes Cisco, compound annual growth rates (CAGR) will be:

  • The Middle East and Africa: 77 percent CAGR (17.3-fold growth)
  • Asia-Pacific: 76 percent CAGR (16.9-fold growth)
  • Latin America: 67 percent CAGR (13.2-fold growth)
  • Central and Eastern Europe: 66 percent CAGR (12.8-fold growth)
  • North America: 56 percent CAGR (9.4-fold growth)
  • Western Europe: 50 percent CAGR (7.6-fold growth)

The world of Internet things is here. Hold on for a fast, mobile ride!