Internet users in India to double to 829 mn by 2021: Cisco

June 9, 2017


Digital transformation will take India’s internet users from 373 million (28% of the population) in 2016 to 829 million (59% of the Indian population) in 2021, global networking giant Cisco said on Friday.

According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast, there will be 2 bn networked devices in 2021 in India, up from 1.4 billion in 2016.

“Mobile networks, devices and connections in India are not only getting smarter in their computing capabilities but are also evolving from lower-generation network connectivity (2G) to higher-generation network connectivity (3G, 3.5G, and 4G or LTE),” Sanjay Kaul, managing director, Service Provider Business, Cisco India and SAARC, said in a statement.

“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,” Kaul added.

The overall IP traffic is expected to grow four-fold from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% 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% of the total two billion devices and connections and will account for 5% 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% increase in the next five years.

Video will continue to dominate IP traffic and overall internet traffic growth — representing 76% of all internet traffic in 2021, up from 57% 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.