IoT traffic is taking over; 5G, WiFi 6 are ascending

Cisco Internet Report prognosticates M2M, 5G, WiFi, broadband impact by 2023

If the industry needed more evidence that IoT devices and applications are taking over the world, Cisco estimates that machine-to-machine communications will account for 50% or around 14.7 billion of all networked connections by 2023 compared with 33% (6.1 billion) in 2018 and 3.1% in 2017.

Cisco reported on the M2 M predictions that the rapid growth is due to a variety of hot M2 M applications, such as smart meters, video surveillance, health care monitoring, transportation and package tracking. Traffic is growing faster than the number of connections because the use of video applications on M2M connections is up, as well as other high-bandwidth, low-latency applications such as telemedicine and smart-car navigation systems.

5G will enable new IoT applications with extended reach and faster speeds. It will provide access connections for applications that require greater bandwidth and lower latencies, and that will nurture new innovations not previously possible, wrote Thomas Barnett, Director of Thought Leadership in Cisco Systems’ worldwide service provider marketing group in a blog about the report.

The report also makes some projections about network usage between now and 2023 including:

  • Broadband average speeds rise from 46 Mbps to 110 Mbps;
  • 45% of all networked devices are mobile (3 G and below, 4 G, 5 G or Low Power Wide Area), and 55% are wired or connected via Wi-Fi.
  • Global average Wi-Fi connection speeds will more than triple between 30 Mbps in 2018 and 92 Mbps in 2023;
  • By 2023, mobile (cellular) global average speed will be 43.9 Mbps, up from 13.2 Mbps in 2018–3.3 times faster.
  • Global fixed-broadband peak speeds more than doubles from 46 Mbps in 2018 to 110 Mbps in 2023.
  • In 2023, global 5 G connections will account for 10.6 percent of total mobile connections compared to 0.0 percent in 2018.
  • The 5 G speeds are 13 times higher than the smartphone average.

On the WiFi 6 front, Cisco forecasts Wi-Fi 6 hotspots will grow 13-fold from 2020 through 2023 and will make up 11% of all public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Wi-Fi6 would act as a required complement toArtifiArtificial Intelligence (AI)cial Intelligence (AI) 5 G,' Barnett said.' A significant portion of cellular traffic is offloaded to Wi-Fi networks to avoid congestion and reduced cellular network efficiency (as a result of demand).' Public Wi-Fi upgrades will enable new collaborations and applications in hospitality / travel, hospitals, stadiums, retail, and a host of other business verticals.

The research also investigated how network and networking choices would decide whether or not business applications were successful. By 2023, there will be 299.1 billion global mobile application downloads, up from 194 billion global mobile application downloads in 2018, Cisco stated.

"It's often a struggle for IT departments to upgrade systems to accommodate new technologies. IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Business Analytics are transforming how developers build smart applications to simplify consumer interactions and provide new insights into business, "Cisco said.

"Several companies have implemented multicloud approaches with centralized management solutions to support micro-services and containerized network edge applications. With a wide range of Software-as - a-Service (SaaS) options, it is now possible to create smart business platforms that connect applications seamlessly, integrate IoT solutions and enable customizable Big Data analysis.

In looking at security, Cisco found that in the last year the frequency of DDoS attacks increased by 39 percent, and that the peak attack size increased globally by 63 percent year-over-year. Specifically, from 2018 to 2019 there was a 776 percent increase in attacks between 100 Gbps and 400 Gbps, and the total number of DDoS attacks will almost double from 7.9 million in 2018 to 15.4 million by 2023, Cisco said.

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