By the year 2020, internet traffic will be 66 times larger than it was in 2005

Global broadband traffic is set to double in capacity in the coming years, as UHD video streaming and big data from the Internet of Things (IoT) drives consumption, according to Nokia’s CEO for UK and Ireland, Cormac Whelan.

Speaking at the Connected Ireland event in Dublin on Tuesday, Whelan highlighted the sheer scale of the challenge facing network architects.  

"We are the zettabyte generation. What is a zettabyte? If expressed in storage, it is enough information to fill about 1000 datacentres, which would cover an area equivalent to 20% of Manhattan," he said.   

"We’re expecting globally that traffic will more than double and will reach 2 zettabytes per year in two years’ time, an increase of fivefold over the past five years. Global Internet traffic will be equivalent to 66 times the volume of the entire Internet in 2005," he added.

Whelan said that IP video traffic should account for 80% of all IP traffic, within 3 years.

"It would take a single person more than 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month. Of course, this content will rely on broadband for delivery to homes and mobile devices," he said.

Whelan said that in order to cope with the sheer scale of traffic operators will be dealing with, network operators would need to utilise a variety of strategies to reach their customers.

"Another convention was that fibre was the only way we could deliver ultra-fast broadband but we can now see 500 m/bits to the home over existing phone lines. To put that into context, HD streaming is about 5 m/bits and 4K ULTRA-HD is about 25 m/bits. So, 500M/bit broadband equates to 100 HD channels all streaming into your house, at once.  Of course 5G can achieve similar speeds, as we’ll see, later on," he said


Following the Connected Ireland event, Cormac Whelan spoke exclusively to Total Telecom. Check back later this week for an in-depth look at what Nokia has been up to.