Mobile subscribers in North America and the Asia-Pacific region will be the drivers of a 13-fold growth rate in global mobile data traffic from 2012 – 2017, according to a new report from Cisco Systems.
Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast report indicates that North American mobile subscribers will continue to consume the most data per subscriber per month of anyone else in the world. However, subscribers in the Asia-Pacific region will account for 47.1 percent of all mobile data traffic by 2017, up from 35 percent in 2012–making the Asia-Pacific region the largest in terms of data consumption.
Cisco’s annual report is widely cited every year by carriers and vendors alike as a key benchmark for measuring and predicting data traffic, and also as a data point to justify calls for network investment, traffic management technologies and more spectrum.
The report, Cisco’s sixth such one, estimates that over the next five years mobile data traffic will reach 11.2 exabytes–a billion gigabytes–per month. According to the forecast, in 2017 the average mobile subscriber worldwide will use 2 GB of data per month, up from around 200 MB in 2012, and they will consume around 10 hours of video per month, up from one hour in 2012.
Cisco’s projected growth rate is slower than it had forecasted last year. Last year Cisco said mobile data traffic will grow 18 times between 2011 and 2016 to 10.8 exabytes per month. Now Cisco thinks traffic will hit 7.4 exabytes per month in 2016.
Arielle Sumits, principal analyst for Cisco’s VNI Forecast, told FierceWireless that Cisco decided to take a more conservative approach in forecasting the growth rate of data from laptops connected to cellular networks. “It’s normal to see a little bit of the tapering in the growth rate over time,” she said.
Sumits said that Cisco “started to see this year, more than other years, a regional divergence” in mobile data traffic growth. North America, for instance, will see a dramatic increase in average mobile data usage per subscriber per month, the report predicts, going from an average of 752 MB per month in 2012 to 6 GB per month in 2017. Subscribers in Asia-Pacific will jump from using an average of 136 MB per month in 2012 to around 1.75 GB per month in 2017.
Subscribers in other regions will see similar jumps: in Western Europe subscribers will go from using 491 MB per month on average to 3.26 GB; in Latin America the growth will be from an average of 122 MB per month to 1.3 GB; in Central and Eastern Europe from 200 MB per month on average to 2.27 GB; and in the Middle East and Africa from just 73 MB per month on average to 990 MB per month.
However, the sheer volume of growth in Asia-Pacific will dwarf other regions, according to the VNI forecast. The forecast predicts that the number of mobile subscribers in the region will grow by 600 million from 2012 to 2017, up from 2.2 billion to 2.8 billion. The number of mobile devices and connections in the region will skyrocket from 3.47 billion to 5.24 billion. In North America, the growth will be much slower: The number of mobile users will climb from 288 million in 2012 to 316 million in 2017, and the number of devices and connections will jump from 459 million in 2012 to 841 million.
What will be driving this traffic growth? In North America, smartphones’ share of total data traffic will inch up slightly from 49 percent in 2012 to 52 percent in 2017, according to Cisco. Traffic from laptops will drop dramatically from 40 percent of all traffic in 2012 to just 13 percent in 2017. Tablet traffic will climb from 6.8 percent in 2012 to 28.3 percent in 2017 as shared data plans encourage more tablet adoption. Traffic from machine-to-machine applications will grow from 2.6 percent in 2012 to 6.6 percent in 2017.
In Asia-Pacific, the picture is different. There, smartphones are expected to make up the lion’s share of total data traffic over time as adoption increases and smartphone prices come down. Cisco forecasts that smartphones will make up 78 percent of all data traffic in the region in 2017, up from 46 percent in 2012. As in North America, traffic from laptops will drop, from 42 percent in 2012 to 11 percent in 2017. Tablets and M2M traffic will only make up 5.1 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, of data traffic in the region in 2017, Cisco estimates.
One other notable aspect of the report is its take on the growth of LTE through 2017. Cisco predicts the number of 4G connections worldwide will steadily rise from 60.4 million in 2012 to 135.2 million in 2013 and up to around 992 million in 2017. That forecast is more conservative than a recent forecast from IHS iSuppli on LTE subscriber growth.
Cisco found that in 2012 only 1 percent of global connections were 4G but that 1 percent drove 14 percent of all global mobile data traffic. By 2017, 4G connections will represent 10 percent of global connections but will generate 45 percent of the data traffic. “That’s a huge jump,” said Thomas Barnett, director of service provider marketing at Cisco.
Belkin has just struck a deal to acquire Cisco’s Home Networking Business Unit, which will bring Linksys’ name, products, technology and employees under its new owner’s umbrella. Mothballing isn’t in the cards for Linksys, however, as Belkin plans to keep the brand alive and even offer support for its existing products. The two networking titans haven’t said a peep regarding a sticker price, but they expect the pact to be finalized in March. Once the transaction is rubber stamped, Belkin figures it’ll compose roughly 30 percent of the home and small business networking retail market in the US. Hit the jump for the press release.
BELKIN ANNOUNCES INTENT TO ACQUIRE CISCO’S HOME NETWORKING BUSINESS UNIT
Acquisition to Bolster Belkin’s Position in the Home Networking Market, Building on the Strong Linksys Brand and Innovative Suite of Product and Software Solutions
Playa Vista, Calif. – January 24, 2013 – Belkin, a private company based in Playa Vista, Calif., with operations and sales in more than 100 countries, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Cisco’s Home Networking Business Unit, including its proven products, technology, well-known Linksys brand and talented employees. With global operations, Linksys’ main office is located in Irvine, Calif.
“We’re very excited about this announcement,” said Chet Pipkin, CEO of Belkin. “Our two organizations share many core beliefs – we have similar beginnings and share a passion for meeting the real needs of our customers through the strengths of an entrepreneurial culture. Belkin’s ultimate goal is to be the global leader in the connected home and wireless networking space and this acquisition is an important step to realizing that vision.”
Belkin intends to maintain the Linksys brand and will offer support for Linksys products as part of this transaction. All valid warranties will be honored by Belkin for current and future Linksys products. After the transaction closes, Belkin will account for approximately 30 percent of the U.S. retail home and small business networking market.
“Linksys pioneered wireless connectivity capability around the globe, and has a strong brand renowned for its premium market position, the strength of its installed base and its proven dependability. Linksys users benefit from peace of mind in their home networking environment. At Belkin we have developed great insight into consumer needs, and the experiences, solutions and products we bring to the market, including our WeMo home automation platform, will help us to grow Linksys’ market presence,” Pipkin said.
“Linksys is one of the leading home networking providers and has created a market-leading suite of products and services to meet customer needs,” said Hilton Romanski, VP Corporate Business Development, Cisco. “While part of Cisco, Linksys has continuously innovated, while strengthening the brand and expanding its market leadership. As part of Cisco’s commitment to service providers, we are pleased about this strategic relationship with Belkin to build on Linksys’ position of strength.”
“With complementary innovation and engineering strategies in the combined organization, Belkin will be able to create new opportunities for consumers, distribution partners and resellers, and will have the strongest retail presence in the U.S. networking marketplace. Belkin also will have access to a large installed base that will be able to upgrade their networking environment to take advantage of new technologies in the smartphone, tablet, notebook and home automation arenas,” Pipkin said. “Additionally, Linksys will enhance Belkin’s capabilities to meet the needs of the service provider space and small business users.”
Belkin and Cisco intend to develop a strategic relationship on a variety of initiatives including retail distribution, strategic marketing and products for the service provider market. Having access to Cisco’s specialized software solutions across all of Belkin’s product lines will bring a more seamless user experience for customers. Merging the innovation capabilities of Linksys and Belkin provides a powerful platform from which to develop the next generation of home networking technology.
“At Belkin, we’re committed to enabling great experiences for users of today’s mobile and connected home technologies,” Pipkin said. “The acquisition of Linksys and the combination of Belkin’s and Linksys’ expertise and innovation will position us to meet the demands of today’s rapidly evolving advances in technology. We look forward to honoring the heritage of the Linksys brand and investing in the continuing evolution of its product portfolio. Together, we will provide a powerful, simple to use, and reliable wireless and networking platform for the markets we serve.”
Specific financial terms of the transaction are undisclosed. The transaction is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to close in March 2013.
Internet phones sold by Cisco Systems are vulnerable to stealthy hacks that turn them into remote bugging devices that eavesdrop on private calls and nearby conversations.
The networking giant warned of the vulnerability on Wednesday, almost two weeks after a security expert demonstrated how people with physical access to the phones could cause them to execute malicious code. Cisco plans to release a stop-gap software patch later this month for the weakness, which affects several models in the CiscoUnified IP Phone 7900 series. The vulnerability can also be exploited remotely over corporate networks, although Cisco has issued workarounds to make those hacks more difficult.
“Cisco recognizes that while a number of network, device, and configuration based mitigations exist, there is no way to mitigate the physical attack vector on the affected devices,” the company’s advisory stated. “To this end, Cisco will conduct a phased remediation approach and will be releasing an intermediate Engineering Special software release for affected devices to mitigate known attack vectors for the vulnerability documented in this advisory.”
The vulnerability is the latest reminder of privacy threat posed by today’s phones, computers, smartphones, and other network-connected devices. Because the devices run on software that’s susceptible to hacking, they can often surreptitiously be turned into listening, and sometimes spying vehicles that capture our business secrets or most intimate moments.
The vulnerability in Cisco phones was discovered by Ang Cui and Salvatore Solfo, a doctoral candidate and a computer science professor, respectively, in Columbia University’s engineering department. In a talk titled “Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean your phone isn’t listening to everything you say” and presented at the 29th Chaos Communication Congress, Cui demonstrated a device that connects to the local serial port of a Cisco phone. Once attached, it injects attack code that gives the attacker control over the devices.
Among other things, the hack allows attackers to monitor phone calls and to turn on the phone’s microphone in order to eavesdrop on conversations within earshot and stream them over the network.
Cui demonstrated the vulnerability earlier in December. Cisco issued a patch around the same time, but in his later demonstration, Cui said it was ineffective. Cisco responded with Wednesday’s advisory, pledging to rewrite the underlying firmware to “fully mitigate the underlying root cause” of the vulnerability. The advisory said that would happen in the next few months but wasn’t more specific.
Cui’s hack works by overwriting portions of the user or kernel space in the phone’s memory. That allows him to gain root access to the phone’s Unix-like firmware system and take control of the digital signal processor and other key functions.
While the hack requires physical access to the phone, it would still be possible for janitors, colleagues, or other trusted insiders to carry out the attack. Once done, a phone exhibits few indications that it has been compromised. It’s not uncommon for security-conscious people to place masking tape over the video camera of their computers to prevent drive-by attacks that turn them on. Thwarting attacks that turn phones into bugging devices will be harder, since the phones can’t be unplugged during calls. Welcome to the world of network-connected devices.
Youtube video demonstrating hack can be found Here.
Source: Ars Technica