European Internet traffic to increase twentyfold by 2015 | Science | In-depth reporting on science and technology | DW | 29.01.2011

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European Internet traffic to increase twentyfold by 2015

As HD video enabled mobile devices, Internet televisions and set-top TV streaming boxes fly off the shelves, Internet traffic is doubling yearly. Data traffic is expected to increase twentyfold by 2015.

Streaming video on a phone

German experts say online traffic has doubled in a year

By the end of 2015, Internet data traffic in Europe will have increased twentyfold compared to today's levels, driven largely by increases in the data-heavy streaming of HDTV content, according to the managers of DE-CIX, a central Internet node based in Frankfurt.

This node carries data from some 400 Internet service providers based in more than 40 countries. During peak times, 1.4 terabits of data now pass through DE-CIX each second, as compared to 700 gigabits one year ago. The center is equipped to handle up 40 terabits per second.

Frank Orlowski, of DE-CIX Management GmbH, said Germans can expect fiber-optic connections directly to their houses in the future, but how long that will take, is difficult to predict.

Cables at DE-CIX

Copper cables are history

"In Germany we have the difficult task ahead of us of digging up all that copper wire which has been in the ground for decades and replacing it with fiber optic cable," he told Deutsche Welle. "That's not only a challenge for Germany - other European countries have to do the same."

Data-intensive Internet TV

Average monthly data use per broadband subscriber in Germany is reportedly around 12 gigabytes, as compared to 19 gigabytes in the United States and some 40 gigabytes in South Korea.

In the United States, some 20 percent of Internet traffic is already dedicated to the streaming video service Netflix during television prime time.

And the capacity hogs of the future are less likely to just be personal computers, as sales of Internet-enabled televisions, television set-top streaming devices like the Apple TV box, and HD-capable mobile devices are flourishing, DE-CIX added in a statement.

According to DE-CIX, HD streaming broadcasts are contributing to a yearly doubling of Internet traffic.

Author: Gerhard Schneibel (dpa)
Editor: Cyrus Farivar

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