Cisco Internet Report Touts 5G Mobile, Marks More DDoS Attacks

Cisco's huge new Annual Internet Report predicts great things for mobile 5G in the next few years but also warns of an increase in the size and frequency of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

The report, covering 2018-2023, assesses digital transformation across multiple business segments -- including enterprise -- with a focus on fixed broadband and mobile networking. While fixed broadband tech -- Ethernet and Wi-Fi -- is fairly stable, the company showcases big things happening in the 5G mobile space.

"The average 5G speed will be 575 megabits per second, or 13 times faster than the average mobile connection," Cisco said in announcing its first annual report. "With advanced performance capabilities, 5G will deliver more dynamic mobile infrastructures for AI and emerging IoT applications including autonomous cars, smart cities, connected health, immersive video and more."

Other 5G-related highlights of the huge report include:

  • 5G devices and connections will be over 10 percent of global mobile devices and connections by 2023. By 2023, global mobile devices will grow from 8.8 billion in 2018 to 13.1 billion by 2023 – 1.4 billion of those will be 5G capable.
  • 5G will further enable new IoT applications with extended reach and faster speeds. Applications that require greater bandwidth and lower latencies will have an access technology that allows them to flourish and nurture new innovations that were not previously possible with 4G technology.
  • Wi-Fi6 will serve as a necessary complement to 5G. A significant portion of cellular traffic is offloaded to Wi-Fi networks to prevent congestion and degraded performance of cellular networks (due to demand). Public Wi-Fi enhancements will enable new partnerships and applications in hospitality/travel, healthcare, stadium venues, retail, and a host of other business verticals (for personal devices and IoT connections).
  • 5G connections will appear on the scene in 2019 and will grow over 100-fold from about 13 million in 2019 to 1.4 billion by 2023. 5G connectivity is emerging from nascency to a strong contender for mobile connectivity driven by mobile IoT growth. By 2023, there will be 11 percent devices and connections with 5G capability.
Cisco Annual Internet Report
[Click on image for larger view.] Cisco Annual Internet Report (source: Cisco).

The nascent 5G rollout was also the subject of Cisco's December 2019 "2020 Global Networking Trends Report," in which the company said, "Eventually, having even more pervasive, high-speed, secure wireless connectivity will open up new kinds of business opportunities in all industries, from healthcare to transportation. In combination with the improved performance of both Wi-Fi 6 and (eventually) 5G, we are in for a large – and long-lived – period of innovation in access networking."

However, those access networking innovations mainly focus on speed, as opposed to security, which is also addressed in the report that focuses on DDoS attacks, which increased dramatically over the past year.

In listing global cybersecurity trends from 2018 to 2019, Cisco noted:

  • Globally, the frequency of DDoS attacks increased by 39 percent.
  • Globally, the peak attack size increased 63 percent.
  • The average DDoS attack size is 1 Gbps (23 percent of attacks are greater than 1 Gbps); there has been 776 percent growth in attacks between 100 Gbps and 400 Gbps.

In a blog post yesterday (Feb. 18), Cisco's Thomas Barnett, Jr. also addressed security. "Expansion and growth will also require new cybersecurity measures to prevent and mitigate risk," he said. "More devices and connections that are supported with more scalable networks and cloud computing provide new targets for nefarious activity. The good news is that artificial intelligence and machine learning can serve as powerful tools to automate security and detect intrusions before they become problematic or catastrophic."

Other assorted highlights from the report as listed by Cisco include:

  • More than 70 percent of the global population (5.7 billion people) will have mobile connectivity (2G, 3G, 4G or 5G).
  • 66 percent of the global population (5.3 billion people) will be internet users.
  • There will be 3.6 networked devices/connections per person and nearly 10 devices and connections per household.
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of all devices and connections will be video capable.
  • Machine-to-machine (M2M) connections that support a broad range of IoT applications will represent about 50 percent (14.7 billion) of total global devices and connections.
  • 45 percent of all networked devices will be mobile-connected (3G and below, 4G, 5G or Low Power Wide Area [LPWA]) and 55 percent will be wired or connected over Wi-Fi.
  • Global 5G connections will be 10.6 percent of total mobile connections, compared to 0.0 percent in 2018.
  • By 2023, global LPWA connections will be 14.4 percent of total mobile connections, compared to 2.5 percent in 2018.
  • Global Wi-Fi hotspots will grow four-fold from 2018 to 2023. There will be nearly 628 million global public Wi-Fi hotspots, up from 169 million in 2018.
  • Global Wi-Fi6 hotspots will grow 13-fold from 2020 to 2023 and will be 11 percent of all public Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Average global mobile connection speeds will more than triple from 13 Mbps (2018) to 44 Mbps (2023).
  • Average global Wi-Fi connection speeds will more than triple from 30 Mbps (2018) to 92 Mbps (2023).
  • Average global fixed broadband speeds will more than double from 46 Mbps (2018) to 110 Mbps (2023).

"For the past 50 years, each decade introduced a new mobile technology with cutting-edge innovations. Mobile bandwidth requirements have evolved from voice calls and texting to ultra-high-definition (UHD) video and a variety of augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) applications," Cisco said. "Consumers and business users worldwide continue to create new demands and expectations for mobile networking. This ongoing trend is clearly highlighted by the adoption and use of mobile applications. Social networking, video streaming and downloads, business productivity, e-commerce and gaming will drive the continued growth of mobile applications with nearly 300 billion downloaded by 2023."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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