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One in 5 network connections in India projected to be of devices by 2021

Networking gear company Cisco also forecasts India's internet user base will more than double from its 2016 size to 829 million in that time

Harichandan Arakali
Published: Jun 9, 2017 04:31:22 PM IST
Updated: Jun 9, 2017 05:19:19 PM IST

One in 5 network connections in India projected to be of devices by 2021
Image: Shutterstock

Advances in the development and use of technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) will boost data traffic between networked devices of many kinds, worldwide, and by 2021, such connections will account for more than one in five in India, Cisco Systems said in a report on Friday.

M2M (machine-to-machine) connections will represent 22 percent of the total 2 billion devices that are expected to be networked in India by then compared with 1.4 billion devices in 2016. The data traffic accounted for by these connections, will, represent 5 percent of all the to and fro of data in India, Cisco said in a press release.

The growth in adoption of applications such as smart meters, package tracking, digital health monitors and a host of other next-generation M2M services is causing this rise in machine-internet traffic.

By 2021, India’s internet user base will also see strong growth, more than doubling from 373 million in 2016 to 829 million, or the equivalent of 59 percent of the country’s population. Overall IP (internet protocol) traffic is expected to grow four-fold from 2016 to 2021 and reach 6.5 Exabytes of data per month in 2021, compared with 1.7 Exabytes per month in 2016.

One Exabyte of computer storage is about 250 million high-quality DVD movies, assuming 5 GB per DVD.

Worldwide, video will continue to dominate IP traffic and overall internet traffic growth — representing 76 percent of all internet traffic in 2021, up from 57 percent in 2016. India will reach 84 billion internet video minutes per month by 2021, which is 160,000 years of video per month, or about 32,000 video minutes every second, according to the release.

“Mobile networks, devices and connections in India are not only getting smarter in their computing capabilities but are also evolving from lower-generation network connectivity (2G) to higher-generation network connectivity (3G, 3.5G, and 4G or LTE),” Sanjay Kaul, a managing director for service provider business at Cisco, said in the release.

The combination of more capable devices, faster and higher bandwidth and more intelligent networks is leading to wide adoption of high-bandwidth data, video and advanced multimedia applications that contribute to increased mobile and Wi-Fi traffic, he added.

The rise of machine to machine traffic reflects the shift towards automating large chunks of networks by services providers, Cisco said in the release. Even as adoption of 4G gets closer to becoming mainstream in markets such as India, many providers have also started field trials for 5G and are preparing to roll out 5G deployments by 2021, according to the release.

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