Internet users in India to double, reach 829 million netizens, by 2021: Cisco VNI

12 Jun

By Anmol Sachdeva, The Tech Portal

India is one of the fastest growing countries across the globe and digitization is presently being integrated into our DNA, thanks to the efforts of the Modi government and other tech giants. The digital transformation is upon us and Cisco, who has been closely involved with India’s growth, has published a report forecasting the trends within the country.

According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index complete forecast, the advent of digitization and 4G LTE technology will continue to drive IP traffic in India. This will result in the total number of Internet users in the country to increase from 373 million in 2016 to 829 million by 2021. This will be an impressive 59 percent uptick in the user count, driven by the introduction of new wireless tech and competition between telecom carriers.

The IP traffic, which will be driven by the massive number of connected devices — expected to reach 2 billion in 2021, is expected to grow four-fold over the next five years. The networked devices, currently standing at 1.4 billion, were able to generate 1.7 Exabytes of traffic per month in 2016. It is now expected to reach 6.5 Exabytes of data per month in 2021.

Talking about the expected transformation, Sanjay Kaul, Managing Director, Service Provider Business, Cisco India and SAARC said:

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).

Combining device capabilities with faster, 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.

The adoption of latest-gen network technologies has recently (read: last twelve odd months) witnessed a sudden surge, courtesy of the advent of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio. Even though it was the newest entrant in the country’s telecom sector, its directly pounced upon existing carriers and ate up a hefty chunk of their user base as well as traffic. It has signed up more than 100 million subscribers over the past nine months, while also pushing others to rapidly build upon their resources and slash data/voice rates.

The turnaround also led to increase in data consumption and the entry of video streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, as Cisco’s report mentions, led video to dominate the IP as well as overall traffic growth. Currently, it makes for around 57% of the entire traffic but is expected to account for 76 percent of all Internet traffic in 2021. Talking about the same, the report adds,

India will reach 84 billion Internet video minutes per month by 2021, which is one hundred and sixty thousand years of video per month, or about thirty two thousand video minutes every second.

The report also mentions that M2M (machine to machine) connections will represent 22 percent of the total 2 billion devices and connections by 2021. It also cites the advancements in IoT applications like smart meters, package tracking, digital health monitors and a host of other next-generation M2M services to drive incremental growth over the next five years. It is expected to increase by 21 percent by 2021.

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