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Boon for Networking Companies
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, told us he was not surprised, and in fact believes Cisco's estimate may be somewhat conservative, based on the evolution of technology such as voice and gesture commands that will make technology easier to use for a broader audience in the years ahead.
But it's not just smartphones, tablets and laptops.
"More and more devices are attached wirelessly," Kerravala said. "I think mobile over the next few years is going to explode as we connect not just people and phones but a number of things to the phone as well."
The question is, can the networking world keep up? Kerravala believes so. When networking companies launched 10 GB Ethernet routers, there were skeptics who wondered why so much bandwidth was necessary. But history shows that no matter how much bandwidth a router offers, consumers find a way to use it. That pushes innovation further.
"If you look at the whole concept of mobile computing, it is a network-centric compute model. So much of the intelligence and app infrastructure that needs to live on servers is being pushed to the cloud or the network," Kerravala said. "So this concept of network-centric computing benefits Cisco probably more than any other vendor. But the whole network ecosystem should get quite a boost out of this."