Cisco NZ: Opportunities aplenty as Kiwi businesses prepare for data onslaught

By 2019 New Zealand’s IP traffic will more than double, and there will be 35 million connected devices.

New Zealand is set to continue experiencing exponential growth in Internet usage and connected devices over the next four years, according to the 10th annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI).

The VNI points to huge increases in IP traffic, mobile usage, the number of connected devices, consumption of data per capita and video consumption.

As a result of the Kiwi findings, Cisco is urging businesses across New Zealand to take the necessary steps to ensure they are not just ready for this connected future, but prepared now for the business opportunity it presents.

“Our research quantifies and clearly illustrates the scale of connectivity and the level of Internet usage that will be reached over the next four years, and we urge businesses to look at the predicted growth and get ready,” says Geoff Lawrie, Country Manager, Cisco New Zealand.

“Online connectivity, particularly those driven by mobile and social platforms, is already one of the most important ways to keep in touch with your customers, workers, partners and others. If you don’t, someone else will.”

The VNI predicts that IP traffic in New Zealand will increase two-and-a-half times by 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent.

Furthermore, IP traffic will reach a massive 267 Petabytes (10 to the power of 15) per month in 2019, up from 105 Petabytes per month in 2014 - this equates to 9 Petabytes per day in 2019, up from 3 Petabytes per day in 2014.

“To put this in some context, in 2019 the content equivalent of all movies ever made will cross New Zealand's IP networks every 22 hours,” Lawrie adds.

“The Cisco VNI has accurately predicted the world’s rapidly accelerating digital transformation for the last 10 years.

“It shows that technology and connectedness are being embraced and driven by consumers faster than businesses have time to adapt or that the current network has the capacity to deliver.

“The implications of this are that growth and, importantly, consumer satisfaction will be hampered by companies’ technological shortfalls.”

Where is this growth coming from?

Although the number of internet users in New Zealand will grow from 4 million in 2014 to 4.2 million in 2019 (or 88 per cent of the population), the growth in Internet use comes more from the number of devices that will be connected and the type of activity undertaken when online.

Encouraged by broadband speeds of around 46 Mbps, by 2019 people will be online for more hours of the day and video will account for a staggering 84 per cent of New Zealand’s total IP traffic.

The Cisco VNI research highlights that in New Zealand there will be a massive 35 million networked devices by 2019, up from 17.5 million in 2014 with Wi-Fi and mobile connected devices expected to generate 79 percent of IP traffic by 2019.

Going forward, Wi-Fi will boost its dominance of wireless connectivity to reach 68 per cent of total traffic while cellular will comprise 11 percent.

In 2019, mobile device traffic will be equivalent to 19 times the entire volume of the New Zealand Internet in 2005.

But what does this mean for businesses and the New Zealand economy?

Findings show that business IP traffic is set to grow three-fold by 2019, a compound annual growth of 21 percent.

In addition, business mobile data traffic will grow seven-fold, and business Internet video will grow more than four times - accounting for 71 per cent of all business Internet traffic - between 2014 and 2019.

“We are all aware that the Internet of Everything has arrived, yet few businesses have prepared for it,” Lawrie adds. “The numbers and trends are clear and sometimes quite amazing.

“Whether you look at the average number of connected devices per person by 2019 (more than seven), or consumer mobile data traffic growing seven-fold, or consumer internet video growing 2.9-fold, the opportunities and threats to every business are significant.

“As New Zealand positions itself in the 21st century to compete globally, it is more important than ever that it builds the appropriate smart, connected digital infrastructure.”

According to Lawrie, the VNI provides a quantified perspective of what this actually means to business, government and the services required to support a competitive New Zealand knowledge economy.

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