New data from TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Research Service reveal that demand for international bandwidth grew 39% to 138Tbps in 2013, a 4.5-fold increase from the 30Tbps of bandwidth used globally in 2009.
Internet backbones remain the primary users of international bandwidth, accounting for 75% of demand in 2013. However, the drivers of international bandwidth demand are changing. As private network operators, including large content providers like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, expand their internal networks, their bandwidth requirements increasingly exceed those of the largest carriers.
Private network bandwidth grew at a compounded rate of 55% annually between 2009 and 2013, while international internet bandwidth grew 44%. Private networks accounted for 25% of used international bandwidth in 2013, up from 20% in 2009. Given their massive capacity requirements, some of the largest content providers have moved towards owning infrastructure, as a means of lowering their costs.
Global network expansion has undergone a long-term shift in focus, from connecting users to users, to linking users to data centers and—increasingly—data centers to each other. ‘Data replication and mirroring among data centres are key drivers in the rapid growth of private network capacity,’ said TeleGeography Research Director Alan Mauldin. ‘Private network operators are poised to play a leading role in future global network development, including as anchor investors and consortium members in submarine cable systems.’
TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Research Service provides detailed data for the long-haul networks and submarine cable industry, including supply, demand, cost and pricing analysis, and profiles for 346 network operators and 277 submarine cables.
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