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NPRG: Cisco VNI Greatly Understates Mobile Data Growth

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May 31, 2011

NPRG: Cisco VNI Greatly Understates Mobile Data Growth

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

Cisco’s (News - Alert) Visual Networking Index greatly understates future mobile data growth. That’s the word from Al Boschulte and Victor Schnee, who have just released the study “The Mobile Traffic Deluge & Its Implications for the Communications Industry.”

Boschulte and Schnee are telecom veterans and senior directors with New Paradigm Resources Group, a Chicago-based research and consulting outfit.

The Cisco VNI estimates that data traffic growth will increase 100 percent year over year. But Cisco could be off by whole number multiples, Boschulte says. That’s because Cisco based its assumptions heavily on what was happening in the past, failing to look at a variety of new factors in play, Boschulte and Schnee explain.

There are a couple things about the Cisco VNI that troubled NPRG, says Schnee. One is that Cisco looked at the time frame from 1997 to 2001, when the Internet was growing up, and said the next several years will be like that, he says. But things are very different now on a number of fronts, he says. Back then the PC was the main endpoint, but today new connected devices are emerging all the time and the prices of such devices are expected to decline rapidly over time, says Schnee.

A decade ago, there were few personal applications, but now apps are multiplying like crazy, he adds. And during that time frame, he continues, there was little video. “Now video is the rage, and [it’s] growing incredibly rapidly,” he says.

That said, the numbers that Cisco lays out in its VNI are probably significantly lower than what we’ll actually experience, Boschulte says.

“100 percent growth year over year looks very low,” he says.

For more about this study and what it means for network operators and other players in the communications space, check out the upcoming cover story of NGN magazine, which will appear in print in July and post on TMCnet in early August.

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Edited by Jennifer Russell

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