The proportion of connected devices communicating with one another rather than users is growing faster in New Zealand than the global average.

The country's IP traffic will double to reach 50 gigabytes per person by 2020, or the equivalent of more than 72,000 DVDs an hour, according to Cisco's 2016 Visual Networking Index.

Glen Bearman, head of digital transformation for Cisco in New Zealand, said machine-to-machine (M2M) devices would make up 70 per cent of all devices in New Zealand by 2020.

In 2015 these accounted for 52 per cent of all connected devices in New Zealand and are predicted to account for 45 per cent globally in 2020.


M2M devices include things such as sensors tracking stock on farms, connected technology used in factories, and health devices, an area of huge growth in New Zealand, he said. Wearables such as FitBits and Apple Watches also fall into the category.

"In as little as three and a half years we'll be at 37 million devices and connections. Connections include the M2M stuff ... LED lighting in the home talking to a box where you can control it from is included. Even in a mature market like New Zealand we're going to see an incredible growth."

The percentage of tablets connecting in New Zealand would decline slightly from 3 per cent to 2 per cent, and for smartphones from 16 per cent to 11 per cent in 2020.

However, Bearman said was not a sign the use of tablets and smartphones would decrease.

"It doesn't mean there's a decline of smartphone connectivity, it just means the percentage of connectivity has declined and that M2M is taking a bigger slice of the pie."

The index also looked at the speed of data, and found, thanks in part to the national fibre roll-out, that the average fixed-line broadband speed would jump 250 per cent to 49.1 Mbps in 2020. The average mobile connection speed would triple to 18 Mbps in 2020, believed to be the world's fastest.