Louise Duffy ©RapidTVNews | 09-08-2011

Cisco has predicted that the number of network-connected devices in Australia will reach over 84 million, more than triple Australia's population, by 2015.

In its fifth annual global Visual Networking Index Forecast, the company also said the total amount of Australia's consumer and business Internet (IP) traffic will grow six-fold by 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41%.

According to Cisco, the four key factors that will drive this evolution in Australia are:

1. More internet users: By 2015, there will be 20 million internet users - up from 14 million in 2010. The average internet user will generate 19.5 gigabytes of internet traffic per month in 2015, up 562% from 3 gigabytes per month in 2010, a CAGR of 46%.

2. Higher demand for broadband: IP traffic will reach 22 gigabytes per capita in Australia in 2015, up from 4 gigabytes per capita in 2010. In 2015, IP traffic will be the equivalent of 2 billion DVDs per year, 128 million DVDs per month or 175,885 DVDs per hour.

3. An increasing number of devices: The proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, connected appliances and other smart devices is driving up the demand for connectivity. By 2015, there will be 3.6 networked devices per capita in Australia, up from 2.1 in 2010.

4. More video: By 2015, 15 billion minutes (27,716 years) of video content will traverse the Internet every month. Internet video traffic will make up 81% of all consumer internet traffic in 2015, up from 50% in 2010.

The research also predicts that Australian Internet-video-to-television traffic will make up 14% of consumer Internet video traffic by 2015, up from 7% in 2010.

Jim Hassell, head of product development and sales of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) Co, said: "I welcome this research from Cisco which indicates important trends in data usage and why the NBN is needed to keep pace with growing demand. We are only at the beginning of developments in areas such as Internet TV and video conferencing which will drive increased data usage."

Les Williamson, vice president of Cisco Asia Pacific Area, said: "Cisco has long touted technologies that transform the way we do business by helping businesses overcome the barriers of time and distance. Together with the NBN and other broadband build-outs in the private sector, and a world that is growing more interconnected, there are unlimited opportunities for Australian businesses. Beyond taking advantage of the business imperative of being faster, better and cheaper, businesses need to plan how they can extend this locally, regionally and globally to increase productivity, innovation and competitive advantage."