An illustration picture shows a network cable next to a pack of smartphones in Berlin
An illustration picture shows a network cable next to a pack of smartphones in Berlin, June 7, 2013. The debate over whether the U.S. government is violating citizens' privacy rights while trying to protect them from terrorism escalated dramatically on Thursday amid reports that authorities have collected data on millions of phone users and tapped into servers at nine internet companies.REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

It is natural to see growth in the number of internet users in India with the country being an emerging economy (growth is smartphone users) and the second most populated in the world, next only to China, but many may not see this coming. A study has said that the number of internet users in the country will increase twofold in the next four years, thanks to digital transformation.

According to Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast, the number of internet users in India will increase from 373 million in 2016 to 829 million in 2021 which accounts for 59 percent of the country's population. The number of internet users in India was 28 percent in 2016.

Also read: Internet 2017 Trends: Thanks to Jio, millions of Indians leap into the digital world

The report went on to say that the number of devices and connections per capita will increase from 1.1 in 2016 to 1.5 in 2021, while the average data speed will increase from 6.6Mbps to 18.2 Mbps and average traffic per capita per month will see a raise from 1.3GB to 4.7GB in the next four years.

VNI Forecast for India -- Highlights
VNI Forecast for India -- HighlightsCisco

Digital transformation will continue, resulting in the increase of global Internet users from 44 percent of the world's population in 2016 to 58 percent in 2021, which is up from 3.3 to 4.6 billion, according to VNI Complete Forecast. It also forecasts a "greater adoption of personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections -- from 17.1 billion to 27.1 billion from 2016- 2021, average broadband speed advances -- from 27.5 Mbps to 53.0 Mbps, and more video viewing -- from 73 percent to 82 percent of total IP traffic."

Global VNI Forecast - highlights
Global VNI Forecast - highlightsCisco

The reports said that in the next four years, global mobile data traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47 percent with 11.6 billion mobile-connected devices, average mobile network connection speed to increase from 6.8 Mbps to 20.4 Mbps and 53 percent of connections will be 4G and 0.2 percent will be using 5G service.

M2M connections are expected to see a steep growth of 34 percent CAGR, that is from 780 million in 2016 to 3.3 billion by 2021, facilitated by increase in smart gadgets, home automation, building automation, healthcare etc. The report went on to say that "M2M connections that support Internet of Things (IoT) applications are calculated to be more than half of the total 27.1 billion devices and connections and will account for five percent of global IP traffic by 2021."

Global Machine-to-Machine Growth and Migration from 2G to 3G and 4G
Global Machine-to-Machine Growth and Migration from 2G to 3G and 4GCisco

Video is one segment that will dominate IP traffic and overall Internet traffic growth in the next four years, representing 80 percent of all Internet traffic by 2021, up from 67 percent in 2016. Global Internet video users (excluding mobile-only) will be nearly 1.9 billion by 2021, up from 1.4 billion in 2016. Live Internet video is also projected to increase 15-fold and reach 13 percent of Internet video traffic by 2021, while VR/AR traffic will increase 20-fold and represent one percent of global entertainment traffic.
(Source: Cisco)