NEW YORK: Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc said it expects global Internet traffic to more than quadruple by 2014 as more people use the Internet to watch videos and chat with friends online.
Cisco forecast Internet traffic to rise to 767 exabytes a year by 2014, with most of the growth coming from online video. That forecast is also 100 exabytes higher than the level it projected last year for 2013.
One exabyte equals 1 billion gigabytes. To illustrate the sheer size of online traffic it expects, Cisco said watching all the video crossing over the global network in 2014 would take around 72 million years.
The company said video, including video-on-demand on cable and Internet services, will account for around 91 percent of global consumer online traffic by 2014.
Cisco makes routers and switches that direct Internet traffic, and is a key beneficiary of the trend as phone and cable service providers upgrade their networks to handle increased Web use.
Suraj Shetty, vice president of Cisco's service provider marketing, said Web traffic was growing more rapidly than he had expected a few years ago. He cited new gadgets and the popularity of video sites like Google Inc's YouTube and movie downloading services such as Netflix Inc.
"Let's look at the last two years. The economy has gone down pretty much across the globe. But IP traffic has actually accelerated because there are a lot more people using video," he said. "You see devices like Blu-ray players with Netflix and YouTube built in... and the iPad comes along."
Cisco said increasing network bandwidth capacity should allow more consumers to more quickly, download videos in high-definition and 3D formats, and to watch them without interruptions.
The company has also expanded into areas like consumer video products and corporate videoconferencing equipment, which are accelerating growth in Internet traffic.
It said Web-based videoconferencing would likely grow 180-fold from 2009 through 2014. Global mobile data traffic will increase 39 times from 2009 to 2014, it predicted.