From the ICPC Annual Plenary to trade conferences such as SNW, there are indicators everywhere for increased capacity demand globally. Looking to 2018, are we collectively ready? 

In Cisco’s VNI forecast, from 2016 to 2017, IP traffic was forecast to rise by more than 20%. By the time we get to ICPC 2018, we’ll be another 20% higher with an expectation of 3.5 devices per person globally by 2020.

At that time, over 20% of global traffic will be Video on Demand and the traffic is not smooth. As we plan capacity, we should recognise that  busy-hour traffic is growing by over 50%, whilst average growth was only 29% through 2015. We need to deal with lumpy usage.

And more is coming; as well as the connected car, augmented reality applications quadrupled in 2015 – with a 61-fold growth  expected by 2020! At SNW Singapore last year, Facebook’s breakout group showed us the ‘Mark Zuckerberg playing in his goggles’ video, we noted that a twin virtual reality game will consume 40 times the bandwidth of conventional video streaming – per player. This is now becoming an everyday experience. We think that as engineers we need to build a detailed understanding of what is driving our industry growth. Whether talking to the business about their customers or reading reports like those from Cisco , it should be built into our planning processes.

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