The Next 40 Years of the Internet? One Word: Video
Suraj Shetty, Worldwide Service Provider Marketing, Cisco Systems
Internet history teaches us that service innovation follows bandwidth expansion in a 'virtuous circle' of development. Application continues to drive bandwidth and bandwidth will drive new applications.
In 1995, 56k accelerated walled garden services from AOL and online bulletin boards. From 1997 to 2000, broadband speeds of 512k-1MB and the introduction of NetScape gave birth to the World Wide Web. In early 2000 with 2MBs, came peer-to-peer file sharing, online games, music downloads and Napster. In 2005, bandwidth of 2 - 5MBs brought us Web 2.0, MySpace, FaceBook and YouTube. Today, a speed of 10 - 50 MBs brings us HD IP TV and VoD.
With history the best predictor of the future, what should we expect from the next 40 years of the Internet? Video will completely reshape the Internet and its use. Video will be the driving force behind a total transformation of the user experience.
Users will immerse themselves in video-based interactions anywhere, anytime, on any device. Today's Web 2.0 and TV services will merge into a unified, ubiquitous, interactive, social, and media-rich experience for a new breed of viewer/user.
In five years, annual global IP traffic will reach two-thirds of a zettabyte (the equivalent of 250 billion DVDs = 1 zettabyte) and the sum of all forms of video will exceed 91 percent of global consumer traffic. A prediction-annual global IP traffic will reach a yottabyte (250 trillion DVDs) within 40 years!
Glimpse into the future
The source of video content creation will shift from a small number of centralized, organized professionals producing premium content, to billions of dispersed, independent individuals producing informal, personalized content as easily as they generate e-mail today.
Imagine telepresence as a daily experience in the home and workplace, video mail as mundane and highly productive, and shopping as akin to taking a walk down virtual aisles. If 6 million meetings per day took place over telepresence, 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emission would be saved daily.
Ultimately, the distinction between applications and devices will become meaningless-they will all be a seamless, continuous and holistic video experience, a 'normal" part of everyday life.Mobile Internet and data center/cloud services will be the driving forces behind a transformation of the Internet to medianet.
3G/4G and Wimax end-to-end mobile networks will deliver robust video and voice services on an unlimited number of channels and smart devices. Leveraging IPv6 addressing, networks will enable literally billions of devices to proliferate and communicate while addressing the IPv4 address exhaustion issue.
Media data centers will deliver billions of video streams through virtual clouds to billions of devices and people. The distinction between landline and wireless will disappear as device experience fragmentation is resolved through the medianet. Applications will function in essentially the same way regardless of the device used.
Network openness and virtualization will facilitate the flexibility and velocity that robust video service demand, while maintaining network integrity and security. With millions of video streams distributed, network content delivery capabilities be transformed. Content caching at the network edge will accommodate massive amounts of traffic.
Most important, network flexibility combined with creative business strategies will generate an incalculable number of new applications. So the 'virtuous circle' will continue, providing limitless opportunity for those who have the vision to see the future of video.
The next 40 years of the Internet? Video-good for business, good for entertainment, and good for the planet!