Tablets, smartphones pushing internet traffic to new heights
The number of devices capable of connecting to the internet is expected to double between 2011 and 2016, which, according to the Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, will cause the internet itself to quadruple in size.
Cisco notes that the proliferation mobile devices, such as tablet computers and smartphones, is responsible for a large part of this growth. According to the report, the total number of network connections worldwide will reach 18.9 billion by 2016, up from 10.3 billion in 2011.
The report also predicts the number of mobile consumers will increase rapidly during this forecast period, growing from 3.7 billion in 2011 to 4.5 billion by 2016. As a result of this trend, the number of mobile video and SMS users will jump as well, reaching 1.6 billion and 4.1 billion users, respectively, by 2016.
Though the number is expected to grow, mobile devices are already starting to account for a healthy portion of web traffic. According to a separate report from Chitika, tablets and smartphones currently make up 20 percent of web traffic in the United States and Canada and are showing no signs of slowing down.