In future, the Internet speed prevailing in India could go down even further. Cisco, the networking equipment giant, released its Visual Networking Index (VNI) forecast, which projects that the average broadband speeds will grow by 3.5-fold (from 1.9Mbps in 2012 to 7Mbps in 2017) and the average smartphone connection speed will grow 3-fold to just over 2Mbps.

Though the VNI forecast, released every 5 years, has brought good news to the global market, India looks to be at the receiving end of this report. The report states that the annual global IP traffic (fixed and mobile) is likely to pass the zettabyte (billion terabyte) mark (1.4ZB approx.) by 2017, with the fastest growth coming from India, which is expected to go from 454 petabytes/month in 2012 to 2.8 exabytes/month in five year.

However, a closer look at the numbers will reveal that it is not all good for the Indian users. As mentioned earlier, though the study promises a 3.5-fold growth in the broadband speeds, from 1.9Mbps in 2012 to 7Mbps in 2017, and a 3-fold increase in the average smartphone connection speeds, the consumer data traffic during the same time is expected to have a 4-fold growth for broadband and an 82-fold growth for smartphones. This would mean that the expected growth won’t fulfil the consumer demand. 

Though Cisco believe that the growth will help India to fuel its ever increasing consumer base, as per the report, the resources to do so seems unavailable. “The good news is Internet traffic growth in India is the fastest globally” said, Robert Pepper, VP – Global Technology Policy, Cisco. “While there is great willingness from the Government and industry to drive broadband penetration and ensure Internet access, there is a lot more that needs to be done”.

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