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Cisco Says Tablets Will Help Internet Traffic Quadruple By 2015

June 1 (Bloomberg) -- Cisco Systems Inc., the largest maker of networking equipment, said Internet traffic will quadruple by 2015, driven by growth in smartphones, tablet computers and appliances connected to the Web.

More than 40 percent of the global population will be online by 2015, contributing to almost a zettabyte of Internet traffic that year, the San Jose, California-based company said in its fifth annual Visual Networking Index report. A zettabyte is equal to a trillion gigabytes.

More consumers are surfing the Web and watching videos from Google Inc.’s YouTube and Netflix Inc. on their mobile devices, straining service providers’ abilities to transmit data quickly. The study aims to give Cisco customers, which include AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., a view of consumer trends while promoting the need for Cisco products, which handle the flow of Internet traffic.

“Traffic growth will continue to challenge the Internet and private networks to handle more devices and more bandwidth-heavy applications like video than ever before,” Suraj Shetty, Cisco’s vice president of global service provider marketing, said in a statement. “Cisco is focused on helping address this.”

Asia-Pacific will displace North America by 2015 as the region generating the most Web traffic, Cisco said. The Middle East and Africa are forecast to grow the fastest.

The study also highlighted the diminishing influence of the personal computer, eroded by the rise of mobile devices. By 2015, PCs will generate 87 percent of consumer Internet traffic, down from 97 percent last year, Cisco said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joseph Galante in San Francisco at jgalante3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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