Key Predictions for 2020
More People Will Use the Internet
In 2010, there are 1.8 billion Internet users and a world population of 6.7 billion. In 2020, it is estimated that there will be five billion Internet users.
The Internet Will be More Geographically Dispersed
The estimated world population in 2009 was 6,767,805,208. The estimated number of Internet users on December 2000 was 360,985,492. The latest data shows the current number of Internet users at 1,802,330,457. The penetration of the Internet into the population is 26.6 percent. The growth of Internet users from 2000 to 2009 was 399.3 percent.
The Internet Will be a Network of Things, Not Computers
Today, the Internet has 575 million host computers. Expect billions of sensors on buildings and bridges to be connected to the Internet by 2020.
The Internet Will Carry Exabytes, Perhaps Zettabytes, of Content
Internet traffic will grow to 44 exabytes per month by 2012, more than double what it is today. The exaflood refers to the rapidly increasing amount of data that is being transferred over the Internet.
The Internet Will be Wireless
The number of mobile broadband subscribers is exploding. The number of mobile subscribers will increase by 85 percent each year for 3G, WiMAX and other higher-speed data networking technologies. There were 257 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2009. There will be 2.5 billion by 2014.
More Services Will Be in the Cloud
Cloud computing is leveraging third-party computing capability over the network to cut costs, increase scale, improve agility and access best practices. Cloud computing will generate more than $45.4 billion in revenue by 2015.
The Internet Will Be Greener
Annual electricity use in the U.S. for the Internet is 235 billion kWH for PCs and monitors, 45 billion kWH for data centers, 67 billion kWH for modems and routers and 0.4 billion kWH for phone networks. In the U.S., it accounts for 9.4 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption. Annual electricity in the world for Internet use is 588 billion kWH for PCs and monitors, 167 billion kWH for modems and routers, 112.5 kWH for data centers and 1 billion kWH for phone networks.
Network Management Will Be More Automated
Lack of built-in network management techniques is one of the biggest weaknesses in today’s Internet. There will be automated ways to self diagnose, track events and reboot systems as well as finer-grained data collection in 2010.
The Internet Won’t Rely on Always-On Connectivity
Researchers are looking into communications techniques that can tolerate delays or can forward communications from one user to another in an opportunistic fashion, particularly for mobile applications. There’s even research going on related to an inter-planetary Internet protocol which would bring a whole new meaning to the idea of delay-tolerant networking.
The Internet Will Attract More Hackers
In 2010, more hackers will be attacking the Internet because more critical infrastructure like the electric grid will be online. Among hacking incidents in 2009, 57 percent were in North America, 23 percent were in Europe, 6 percent were in Asia, 4 percent were in the Middle East, 2 percent were in South America, 2 percent were in Australia and 6 percent were in New Zealand.
In 2007, there were 0.6 million new malicious code threats. In 2008, there were 1.6 million malicious new code threats.