Wi-Fi Predicted to Exceed Wired Traffic by 2015

Aug 8, 2011 6:00 AM PST

LOS ANGELES — A new report from Cisco estimates that Wi-Fi devices will use more bandwidth than wired devices, by 2015; reshaping consumers’ online expectations.

In its Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global IP Traffic Forecast, Cisco reveals Wi-Fi devices will use the lion’s share of network data, gobbling up 37.2 Exabytes per month, followed closely by wired traffic, which is expected to consume 37.0 Exabytes monthly.

The report also predicts Wi-Fi will be responsible for 46.2 percent of all IP traffic (rising from 36 percent in 2010), with wired IP traffic declining from 63 percent in 2010 to 46.1 percent by 2015.

The Wi-Fi breakout is notable, as an increasing percentage of mobile traffic is being   offloaded to Wi-Fi networks as a means of combating congestion; but it is the mobile arena itself that may be in for the biggest shakeup.

Coming in at third place, mobile networks are expected to consume 6.3 Exabytes per month in 2015 — reflecting a 26-fold increase in IP traffic. Compare these numbers to the predicted tripling of wired access and five-fold increase in Wi-Fi traffic during this same period and you’ll get a taste of the opportunities presented by the mobile market.

Also noted in the report is the massive increase in online video consumption, said to be the principal force behind Internet traffic growth, which is expected to rise from 40 percent of consumer traffic in 2010 to 62 percent in 2015.

The implications for adult content marketers are compelling, with an enormous surge in demand for mobile video content showing the way to tomorrow’s new sales opportunities — with consumers falling back on Wi-Fi connections for bandwidth-busting applications.

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