There Will Soon Be More Mobile Devices Than Humans — And We'll Need A New Internet To Cope

iPad crystal ball

Photo: Flickr/Bitterjug

In five years, planet earth will be home to 7.6 billion people, says the United Nations. Those folks will be using 10.3 billion Internet-connected mobile devices.In other words, there will be more mobile devices in the world than people, says Cisco in its annual jaw-dropping report on the growth of the mobile Internet.

The tipping point will happen this year, Cisco predicts.

You might look around at the toys in your house, your smartphone, your tablet, your Pebble watch, and think this stat is obvious.

But just because mobile devices outnumber the people in a typical U.S. house, doesn’t mean it’s the same for everyone everywhere. A good chunk of the world’s population doesn’t even have Internet access yet, much less multiple Web gadgets.

What this means is three-fold.

  1. More people in the world will be getting Internet access for the first time.
  2. Those of us with Internet access will be connecting more stuff to the Internet, a concept called “the Internet of things.”
  3. We need to hurry up and get those gadgets on a brand new Internet.

Today’s Internet is out of space. A brand new Internet opened for business in June 2012 after about a decade of work. It’s called Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

The new Internet can’t talk today’s, old Internet, which is called Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). There are some technical tricks to get IPv6 and IPv4 to work together, but eventually, all the new devices and websites will only work on IPv6 and all the old ones will have to convert.

Many companies and device makers have ignored the new Internet, even though they’ve known about it for years. Chances are, you can’t even see it yet (test your connection here).

But in the next five years, the new Internet will finally get real as more devices are built that can connect to it, Cisco says.

In 2012, 14 per cent of mobile devices and connections were able to be part of IPv6, Cisco says. By 2017, 41 per cent of all global mobile devices and connections will use IPv6. That will amount to more than 4.2 billion devices on the new IPv6 Internet.

Here’s a look at the projected growth of the new Internet:

IPv6 devices

Photo: Cisco

Here’s a look at how mobile Internet devices will exceed the world’s population:

Cisco Mobile Market Report

Photo: Cisco

Don’t miss the full report: Cisco Published A Massive Report Predicting The State Of Mobile In 2017

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