Cisco predicts substantial growth in number of Internet users in India by 2021

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Smartphone penetration in India is increasing at a rapid pace and thanks to this proliferation of low-cost computing devices, the Internet userbase in the country is set to double by 2021.

According to a report by Cisco digital transformation will take India’s internet users from 373 million (28 per cent of population) in 2016 to 829 million (59 per cent of the Indian population) in 2021. Cisco made the prediction in its “Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast” wherein it has said that by the end of 2021 there will be two billion networked devices in the country – up from 1.4 billion in 2016.

Aiding the rapid adoption of smartphones is the increased availability of faster networks in the form if 3G and 4G across India.

“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,” said Sanjay Kaul, Managing Director, Service Provider Business, Cisco India and SAARC.

The overall IP traffic is expected to grow four-fold from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30 percent and reach 6.5 Exabytes of data per month in 2021, up from 1.7 Exabytes per month in 2016, Cisco said in its forecast.

According to the report, machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will represent 22 percent of the total two billion devices and connections and will account for five percent of IP traffic by 2021. Advancements in IoT applications such as smart meters, package tracking, digital health monitors and a host of other next-generation M2M services is driving this incremental growth-nearly 21 percent increase in the next five years.

Video will continue to dominate IP traffic and overall internet traffic growth – representing 76 percent of all Internet traffic in 2021, up from 57 percent in 2016.

“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,” Cisco said in its forecast.

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