The number of web-connected devices will grow more than fourfold by 2020, reaching 50 billion in total, according to new report.
The forecast, from networking giant Cisco, also asserts that there will be more than 7 billion mobile devices globally by 2015, and that a greater use of video will mean total internet traffic will more than quadruple by 2014.
Estimates suggest there are currently approximately 14 billion devices connected to the internet. Increasingly, however, ‘machine-to-machine’ communication, rather than mobile phones or laptops, is expected to play a greater role.
Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s Chief Technology Officer, said that she expected home networking speeds to increase twenty-fold over the next decade, and that workers would increasingly bring their own devices, such as phones or laptops, to work. Although this posed security challenges, she said that users were increasingly productive if allowed to use their own technology.
Technology companies such as Citrix have already begun to give new employees a budget to spend on a laptop, rather than issue them with a company machine.
Cisco is hosting its international conference, Cisco Live, in London to coincide with its sponsorship of the Olympic Games. The company demonstrated a new type of video conferencing, bringing different users on to the same ‘virtual set’ and has also announced a new wifi router, promising a 30 per cent performance improvement over current models.
The new device, which is aimed at large-scale clients such as in universities or shopping centres, is able to offer a tailored service depending on whether it is being used by mobile phones, tablets or laptops.
Cisco says its increasing use of the 802.11r standard will allow people to switch between networks in less than 50ms. This could make widespread use of the internet for voice calls a reality on mobile phones.