Canadian Demand for Data Set to Skyrocket 762%, Outpace Infrastructure by 2019

Canadians have a voracious appetite for bandwidth that’s set to balloon 762% in the next five years, according to a recent study by networking giant Cisco.

The company is projecting this country’s bandwidth needs, factoring in the growth of 4G-connected smart phones, with a nervous eye to whether Canada’s infrastructure can actually keep up with demand.

The study has 4G network traffic at a 15-fold increase by 2019. Cisco expects 4G traffic will account for 61% of total mobile traffic (it currently sits at 25.8%). The average 4G-enabled phone gobbles up twice the data per month as a run-of-the-mill phone, at 2226 MB per month. Cisco all sees an increase in machine-to-machine (M2M) traffic, a category that includes smart watches, and smart home devices like remote thermostats and anti-theft sensors.

Canada’s infrastructure is already straining to provide adequate service to its data-hungry citizenry. Ookla’s Net Index broadband comparisons, laid out expertly by Canadian tech journo Pete Nowak, paint the picture of a country that lags behind many other OECD nations in a dismaying number of benchmarks (including, appropriately, lag).

Late last year, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced she would supply Cisco with $220 million in grants to help the company set up shop in the province.