Global internet traffic to triple by 2022 says Cisco VNI forecast

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
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global internet traffic

The wonderfully entitled VNI Global Fixed and Mobile Internet Traffic Forecasts from Cisco was released last week and it makes for exciting reading. Okay, that may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but what it does provide us with is the very likely scenario of how global internet traffic use is going to take off in the next few years. Read on to find out more.

By the way, if you want to read an earlier report about global internet traffic, and see if Cisco is getting its numbers right from an earlier forecast, check out the link below.

Global Internet Traffic Infographic

The infographic above pretty much says it all, but I have been looking into the report for some historical comparisons, because I think they are way more interesting. Here is the first one.

The historical Internet context

As a Generation Xer, the numbers below are the kind of thing that stagger me, and make me wonder how far we can really go. For instance, it is hard to imagine a time when global internet traffic was 100GB a day.

It reminds me of when I bought a new PC around the year 2000, which came with various hard drive options. The sales guy, a pushy little geek looking for a big bonus if ever I saw one, asked me what size hard drive I wanted.

Because I was a lot stupid about computers in those days, as compared to only a bit nowadays, I asked him what he suggested.

When he suggested a 25GB hard drive I almost laughed in his face. Instead, I just smiled politely, and asked why in the world he thought I would ever need that much data.

In the same way I deal with scammers and people asking me if I have a spare cigarette, I said that I felt that 15GB was more than enough.

Obviously, when I needed to substantially increase the size of my hard drive about a year later, I avoided that shop like the plague.


Global Internet Traffic


100GB per day


100GB per hour


100GB per second


2,000GB per second


46,600GB per second


150,700GB per second

In 2022, our global internet traffic use will be 150,700GB per second. 100GB a day to 150,700GB per second – in 30 years. That’s pretty mind-boggling, even for someone who writes about computers on a daily basis. Here is another great table from Cisco.

Average number of devices and connections per capita



Asia Pacific



Central and Eastern Europe



Latin America



Middle East and Africa



North America



Western Europe






To be honest (yet again), I didn’t know that Americans had 8.0 devices connected to the internet last year, so the revelation that they will have a staggering 13.4 devices connected in 2022 is a bit hard to grasp. Still, when your country consumes nearly 18% of the world’s total primary energy, you don’t want to start letting the side down.

Wrapping it all up

There is much more great information in this report from Cisco, but I do ask myself if it will change how the average person thinks about the way we will all be connected, and I suspect the answer is no.

We have given up much of our privacy over the last 20 – 30 years, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to take away what we have left.

We Brits gave up a lot of our privacy because we wanted to feel safe. That’s why if you ever go to any major city in the UK, you will be photographed 1000s of times a day.

I suspect we will give up our last online privacy rights just as quickly for the ‘rewards’ of the IoT.


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