Akamai: video to drive seven-fold traffic increase by 2020

Ian Munford

Ian Munford

Content delivery network Akamai is likely to see a more than seven-fold increase in traffic in 2020 due to massive growth in video traffic, according to company executive Ian Munford.

Speaking at TV Connect in London this week, Akamai’s director of product marketing, digital media, said that currently the CDN’s traffic peaks at 36 terabits per second. He predicted this would rise to “about 340 terabits minimum” in 2020.

“We’re going to have this huge exponential growth curve of video traffic. The question we have to think about is how do we make the dreams of people talking about an online world actually happen,” said Munford.

He described “huge peaks” in online traffic that have been seen around some major sporting events and predicted that the same would happen at this summer’s Rio Olympic Games.

“The London Olympics, in terms of traffic, peaked at about a terabit per second. Rio will peak somewhere between about 15 and 18, so the [online] audience figures are now coming into the realm of TV,” said Munford.

With the recent online success of the Super Bowl, which CBS live-streamed in the US, Munford said that multi-casting is becoming a “central strand of scaling in the future”. Munford said Akamai is working with a number of telecommunication companies around the world to “make that a reality”.

“We’re fixing the dream of effectively moving our video consumption habits online,” he said. “I think the CDN is fundamentally essential – whether it’s Akamai or someone else. It’s the only way that we can scale adequately based on what’s coming down the line.”

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