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Video content consumption to drive Australia's IP traffic up threefold by 2019: Cisco

According to Cisco's latest Visual Networking Index, Australia's IP traffic is expected to reach 1.4 exabytes per month by 2019.

More internet users and connected devices, combined with faster broadband speeds and greater video viewing, will result in Australia's IP traffic reaching 1.4 exabytes per month by 2019, a threefold increase compared to 2014, according to Cisco's latest Visual Networking Index (VNI).

Cisco has estimated that video will account for 81 percent of total Australian IP traffic by 2019. Cisco CTO Kevin Bloch has highlighted that 74 percent of total video viewing in 2019 will be made up of internet video, which includes internet streaming services such as Stan, Netflix, and Presto.

The report also highlighted that higher-definition content will impact Australia's traffic growth. Currently, Cisco estimates that in Australia, ultra-high definition accounts for approximately 9 percent, compared to 14 percent globally. However, Bloch noted that this is likely to increase as 4K content becomes more easily available in Australia -- a pattern that has already occurred in the United States.

Another point Bloch highlighted was that by 2019, 72 percent of total Australian traffic will be wireless. Wireless in this context was defined to include Wi-Fi and mobile.

"You're starting to see the products coming out [with 802.11ac] now," he said. "The next wave of Wi-Fi is going to give a much better user experience, it's going to hit the telcos. Telcos are going to have to support much higher bandwidths."

Bloch added that a key benefit of Wi-Fi for any customer-facing business will be that it will give them access to valuable data and analytics.

"You need to put Wi-Fi where there's relevance and value, and there are pretty obvious places to start, like stadiums, stations, and airports; you don't stick it everywhere, and that's where 3G/4G has value," he said.

"Now what's happening is a lot of the shopping centres recognise this is really important. Data is the new oil, and Wi-Fi is the pipe for that oil to use. So now when you're in a shopping centre, they know who you are, they know you and your device, and they're trying to figure out how to get you through Wi-Fi."

The report also predicted that machine-to-machine devices will make up more than 50 percent of all connected devices in Australia by 2019, and therefore will account for 5.9 percent of total IP traffic in the country. In particular, connected health and connected homes will be two key sectors that drive this trend, but Cisco expects that these machine-to-machine devices will also come in forms of intelligent meters, trucks, and vehicles.

"We've been connecting people to devices, and now we're connecting things to things. We're moving from a human-scale world to a machine-scale world, where in the past everything we did in business was limited by your two ears -- human scale -- but now where we're moving is augmented by machines that can do far more, and see far more than humans," Bloch said.