In the five-year span between 2015 and 2020, the Internet of Things will grow faster than any other category of connected devices, according to a new Cisco report, driving global IP traffic.
The number of machine-to-machine connections should grow nearly 2.5-fold, from 4.9 billion in 2015 to 12.2 billion in 2020, Cisco projects in its 11th annual Visual Networking Index: Global IP Traffic Forecast Update. By 2020, M2M connections should represent nearly half -- 46 percent -- of total connected devices, the report says.
With these sorts of projections, it's no surprise Cisco is cultivating its IoT business, with collaborations with IBM and the formation of a new IoT cloud business unit.
Globally, devices and connections (including M2M connections, smartphones, connected TVs, etc.) are growing faster than the population, Cisco notes. The report projects that the average number of devices and connections per capita will grow globally from two in 2015 to 3.2 by 2020.
"A growing number of M2M applications, such as smart meters, video surveillance, healthcare monitoring, transportation, and package or asset tracking, are contributing in a major way to the growth of devices and connections," Cisco reports.
Drilling down further into the IoT market, the report finds that the connected health consumer segment should have the fastest M2M connections growth, increasing from 144 million in 2015 to 729 million in 2020. Still, the consumer home segment should account for nearly half of all M2M connections in 2020, growing from 2.4 billion in 2015 to 5.8 billion.
Given the changing mix of connected devices, Cisco expects the percentage of IP traffice coming from non-PC devices to grow from 47 percent in 2015 to 71 percent by 2020.
Here's a look at some of the report's other projections: