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Could IoT Make Up Half of Devices and Connections by 2021?

New Cisco report suggests IoT will dominate connections

Cisco LogoAccording to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, or (VNI), released towards the beginning of June, machine-to-machine connections that support IoT (the Internet of Things), could make up over 50% of all connections and devices by 2021. This means that over half of the 27.1 billion connections and devices predicted to be available that year will be involved with IoT. What’s more, IoT is set to account for 5% of all global traffic in the same space.

The largest drivers of growth for this change are the efforts that have emerged with connected homes, cars, and healthcare solutions, according to the index. During 2016, approximately 5.8 billion devices were IoT connected, meaning that the market needs a 2.4 times increase to meet the prediction of 13.7 billion devices over the next five years.

What Can We Expect?

As this IoT revolution comes closer, we can expect to see that faster broadband speeds will allow users to consume more video too. According to the Cisco index, video is likely to make up around 82% of the IP traffic consumption in 2021, a rise from approximately 73% today.

Internet of Things

Live video is especially likely to see faster growth, with a 15x increase over the next five years, eventually reaching around 13% of total video traffic by 2021. Cisco’s index also found that augmented reality and virtual reality should see 20 times increase as consumers search for new ways to enjoy the internet.

By the time we hit 2021, we’re also likely to see a growth in global IP traffic by 3 times. What’s more, mobile and WiFi devices should make up about 73% of that traffic by that time. However, as the amount of traffic grows, so will security attacks. Cisco found that the average DDoS attack size will approach 1.2 Gbps by 2021, which might take most organisations completely offline.

As traffic continues to skyrocket, it’s clear that security and network solutions will be essential for the future of the internet.

The Key Points to Remember

If the state of IoT for the future still seems confusing for you, the key points are:

  • Video is coming on strong, predicted to make up 82% of total traffic by 2021
  • Connected solutions for convenience are driving a new world of internet accessibility. Connected homes, healthcare, and even cars are developing the world of IoT, which should contribute to 5% of all IP traffic
  • More than 50% of all the devices and connections in the world by 2021 are likely to be run by IoT applications, at least according to Cisco


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Rebekah Carter

Written by Rebekah Carter

Hi I'm Rebekah, I have an unwavering passion for the technology sector, and I regularly stay up to date with the latest in UC and Cloud