Internet-Connected Video Devices To Blow Past Global Population

Number of IP-Connected Devices To Exceed 8 Billion by 2017, IHS Predicts
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As if cable operators didn’t already have enough motivation to get their IPv6 transitions in gear, here’s another one: more than 8 billion Internet-connected video devices will be installed across the globe by 2017, blowing past the population of the planet, so says the latest forecast from IHS.

That IP-connected category includes everything from tablets, smart TVs, gaming consoles, smartphones, PCs, Blu-ray players and, of course, set-top boxes.

With the world’s population expected to reach 7.4 billion people in 2017, this means there will be 1.1 Internet-connected video devices installed for each global citizen, the research firm said.

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“On average every human being in the world will possess more than one Internet-connected video device by the year 2017—a major milestone for the electronics market,” said Merrick Kingston, senior analyst, of broadband technology at IHS, in a statement. “In practice, ownership of Internet-connected hardware will be concentrated among users whose homes are equipped with broadband connections. We’re quickly approaching a world where the average broadband household contains 10 connected, video-enabled devices. This means that each TV set installed in a broadband-equipped home will be surrounded by three Internet-connected devices.”

The rate of acceleration of IP devices has likewise caused the depletion of IPv4 addresses to also accelerate, meaning operators that have not started their transition to IPv6 might have less time than they originally thought.

Earlier this year, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) told Multichannel News (subscription required) that it could not predict precisely when its available pool of IPv4 addresses will run out, but the current rate of demand could bring on full v4 address depletion before the end of 2013.

IPv4 supports a fixed amount of about 4 billion addresses. IPv6 will give ISPs a virtually endless supply.

Among major cable operators, Comcast is in position to IPv6-enable its broadband network by the end of 2013, while Time Warner Cable and Cox have likewise begun to deploy and test IPv6 networks.

Last week, Suddenlink Communications deployed backoffice systems from Incognito Software that the operator will tap into as it prepares its own IPv6 migration.