CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

Africa: Middle East and Africa to Record Highest Growth in Mobile Data Traffic By 2018

The Middle East and Africa regions are set to record the highest growth rates in terms of mobile data traffic by 2018 according to Cisco's Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2013 to 2018.

The VNI forecast projects nearly 14-fold increase in Middle East and Africa's mobile data traffic from 2013 - 2018. It further indicates that by 2018, nearly 5 billion mobile users and more than 10 billion mobile devices or connections with faster network speeds and more smart devices would drive mobile video to 69 percent of the overall mobile data traffic globally.

Worldwide mobile data traffic, states the VNI forecast, will increase nearly 11-fold over the next 4 years and reach an annual run rate of 190 exabytes by 2018, adding that the projected increase in mobile traffic is partly due to continued strong growth in the number of mobile Internet connections, such as personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, which will exceed 10 billion by 2018 and be 1.4 times greater than the world's population (which the United Nations estimates will have reached 7.6 billion by 2018).

Commenting on the report, Sabrina Dar, Cisco GM for East Africa said: "Global mobile data traffic will continue its truly remarkable growth, increasing nearly 11-fold over the 5 five years, to reach an amount in 2018 that is more than 57 times the total amount of mobile data traffic just a few years ago in 2010. Such growth is not only indicative of mobility becoming a critical characteristic of almost every network experience and the value consumers and businesses alike place on it, but it also represents the immense opportunities ahead for service providers who sit at the center of the Internet of Everything."

In terms of regional mobile data traffic growth rates, the Middle East and Africa will have a 70 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and 14-fold growth; Central and Eastern Europe will have a 68 per cent CAGR and 13-fold growth while Asia-Pacific region is projected to have a 67 per cent CAGR and 13-fold growth. Latin America will have a 66 per cent CAGR and 13-fold growth with North America recording a 50 per cent CAGR and 8-fold growth while Western Europe will have a 50 percent CAGR and 7-fold growth.

In terms of mobile data traffic generation, the Asia-Pacific region is projected to generate the most mobile data traffic followed by North America then Western Europe. This is followed by Central and Eastern Europe; Middle East and Africa with Latin America coming last in terms of mobile data traffic generated.

In terms of key global mobile data traffic drivers, the Cisco VNI forecasts that from 2013 to 2018, global mobile traffic growth will outpace global fixed traffic growth by a factor of three with various trends driving the data traffic growth.

The Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast (2013-2018) compiled from independent analyst forecasts and real-world mobile data usage studies with Cisco's own estimates for mobile application adoption, minutes of use and transmission speeds.

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