As the networking industry continues to return to “normal” after the pandemic-generated shock of 2020, research suggests it’s about to undergo a phase shift.
According to a study by global telecommunications market research and consulting firm Telegeography, global Internet bandwidth will grow by 28% by 2022, with a four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29%, and now stands at 997Tbps. (terabits per second)
Latest statistics from Global Internet Geography shows that despite this slow growth rate, global Internet bandwidth has nearly tripled since 2018 and the era of networking measured in petabits per second (PBPS) has become imminent.
The study also found that the growth of international internet bandwidth and internet traffic has remained the same. Average and peak international internet traffic is expected to grow at a rate of 30% between 2018 and 2022, slightly above the 29% CAGR of bandwidth over the same period.
Telegeography added that after a spike in Covid-19 traffic in 2020, a global return to more normal usage patterns will mean a decline in average and peak usage rates. Average traffic growth fell from 47% between 2019 and 2020 to 29% between 2021 and 2022, while peak traffic growth fell from 46% to 28% over the same period.
The global average and peak utilization rates are revealed to be largely unchanged from those calculated in 2021, standing at 26% and 45% in both 2021 and 2022, respectively. In terms of value, providers have largely shifted 100Gbps Internet backbone The average cost of carrying traffic continues to decrease. Across seven major global hub cities, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) prices fell 16% annually from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2022, when 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100 GbE) port prices have dropped by 25%.
And since the pandemic, much of the world has begun to return to more normal rates of network use, with Africa experiencing the fastest growth in international Internet bandwidth, growing at a CAGR of 44% between 2018 and 2022. Asia now sits behind Africa, with a 35% CAGR over the same period. Globally – Covid bump aside – growth has slowed.
“After a tumultuous 2020 – with pandemic-induced volume increases and changes in internet traffic patterns – network operators are back to adding bandwidth and engineering their traffic in a more measured manner,” said Paul Brodsky, senior research manager at Telegeography. “Based on hard survey data collected from dozens of regional and global network operators around the world, it is clear that the Covid-related expansion of internet traffic and bandwidth was a one-off event.”