Demand for international bandwidth is at least more than doubling every two years, according to TeleGeography, a global telecommunications market research and consulting firm. A recent study by TeleGeography has revealed that the utilized international bandwidth connected to and between the U.S. and Canada has more than doubled every two years between 2016 and 2020, but this would actually apply to all global networks.

Photo Anahí Rebatta
“While mature markets typically grow slower than developing ones, that’s not the case when it comes to global bandwidth demand,” added Anahí Rebatta.

On a global scale, total international bandwidth would have even more than quadrupled during this time period, exceeding 2Pbps.

“Demand for international bandwidth is more than doubling every two years. To meet this demand, companies are investing in existing networks and in new infrastructure,” said Anahí Rebatta, Senior Analyst at TeleGeography. “The lit capacity on major submarine cable routes is soaring to keep pace with demand. Between 2016 and 2020, lit capacity more than tripled on many routes. The swiftness of growth was the most rapid on the trans-Atlantic route, where lit capacity increased nearly five-fold between 2016 and 2020.”

Hyperscalers accounted for 91% of used capacity on the trans-Atlantic route in 2020, but just 12% on the Europe-East Asia route.

Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft

“While mature markets typically grow slower than developing ones, that’s not the case when it comes to global bandwidth demand,” added Anahí Rebatta. “Content providers like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft are huge drivers for bandwidth demand across the globe. Their top priority is to link their data centers and major interconnection points, meaning they often take tremendous capacity on core routes, while focusing less on secondary long-haul routes.”

Since 1989, TeleGeography’s telecom intel has provided guidance to thousands of clients, including service providers, equipment makers, investors, and governments. As a telecommunications market research and consulting firm, TeleGeography conducts in-depth research, compiles large data sets, and presents this information in online reports and databases.

For more insights on international bandwidth demand, the full 2021 Executive Summary of TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Research Service can be found here.

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