Video in all its forms will drive global IP traffic to increase fivefold by 2013, according to Cisco‘s latest Visual Networking Index Forecast.

Traffic will approach 56 exabytes per month in 2013, up from approximately 9 exabytes per month in 2008. In North America alone, IP traffic will reach 13 exabytes per month by 2013, slightly ahead of Western Europe (12.5 exabytes per month) and behind Asia Pacific (21 exabytes per month). Middle East and Africa will grow the fastest, with a compound annual growth rate of 51 percent, reaching 1 exabyte per month in 2013.

Video — TV, VoD, Internet video and P2P — will account for more than 90 percent of global consumer IP traffic. Video communications traffic (video over instant messaging, video calls) will increase tenfold from 2008 to 2013. And mobile data traffic will roughly double each year — again, because of video, which will account for almost two-thirds of global mobile data traffic by 2013.

The Days Are Getting Longer

Cisco says hyperconnected consumers are extending the “digital day” by multitasking — for example, listening to online music while working online or Web browsing or instant messaging while talking on the phone. Passive multitasking, such as DVR recording while watching TV, or using online backups in the background of user experiences, or receiving ambient video from  a security camera or nanny-cam, use as much network time as active multitasking. Today, there are 36 hours in a “network day,” but by 2013 there will be approximately 48 hours in a network day.