The Middle East and Africa (MEA) will post the world’s-fastest mobile data traffic growth rate from 2013-2018, according to a new study.
The Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2013 to 2018 reports that mobile data traffic in the region will increase 14-fold by 2018.
The report suggests that mobile data traffic in the MEA region will reach 1.49 exabytes per month by 2018 – the equivalent of 372 million DVDs each month or 4,105 million text messages each second.
Across MEA, mobile data traffic growth is being driven by the world’s-fastest uptake of Internet Protocol version 6 (Ipv6) -capable smartphones and tablets, with a CAGR of 35 per cent, rising from 133 million in 2013 to almost 598 million in 2018.
In the region, smart wearable devices like watches, glasses, and fitness trackers are also slated to post strong growth from 700,000 in 2013 to 8 million in 2018, the Cisco report estimates.
“As our personal and business lives become increasingly mobile, MEA is really coming to the fore as early, widespread adopters of the latest smartphone and wearable technology. Driven by one of the most tech-receptive and youthful populations on the planet, this is a region that is now extremely well-placed to lead technological innovation in all aspects of daily life and business, leveraging the emerging power of the ‘Internet of Everything’ and faster mobile data networks,” said Fady Younes, Regional Sales Manager and Client Director, Cisco.
2013-2018 Mobile VNI MEA Highlights
• MEA mobile data traffic will reach 1.49 Exabytes per month by 2018 – the equivalent of 372 million DVDs each month or 4,105 million text messages each second.
• MEA mobile data traffic will grow 2 times faster than region’s fixed IP traffic from 2013 to 2018.
• MEA mobile data traffic will account for 39% of region’s fixed and mobile data traffic by 2018, up from 10% in 2013.
• In MEA, 36% of mobile connections will be 'smart' connections by 2018, up from 10% in 2013.
• In MEA, 90% of mobile data traffic will be 'smart' traffic by 2018, up from 76% in 2013.
Global Mobile Trends
Mobile data traffic growth around the world is driven by four trends: mobile users growing from 4.1 billion in 2013 to 4.9 billion in 2018, mobile Internet connections growing from 7 billion in 2013 to 10 billion in 2018, mobile video growing from 59 per cent of mobile data traffic in 2013 to 69 per cent in 2018, and mobile speeds nearly doubling from 1.4 Mbps in 2013 to 2.5 Mbps in 2018.
Global machine-to-machine connections, which use wired and Wi-Fi systems to communicate with devices, will grow from 5 per cent of mobile-connected devices and 1 per cent of mobile data traffic in 2013, to 20 per cent of mobile-connected devices and 6 per cent of mobile data traffic in 2018.
By the end of 2014, the number of global mobile-connected devices will be more than the number of people in the world, and by 2018 there will be more than 10 billion mobile-connected devices and nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita, according to the report.
On all of these mobile-connected devices, people are also increasingly watching mobile video, with global traffic growing 14-fold from 2013 to 2018, and will represent 69 per cent of total mobile traffic in 2018. Declining in mobile traffic from 2013 to 2018 will be web and data applications (28 to 17 per cent), streaming audio (14 to 11 per cent), and file sharing (four to three per cent).
Supporting the increase in mobile data traffic, communications companies are deploying ultrafast 4G mobile networks, and off-loading mobile data onto Wi-Fi or small cell networks. In MEA, 4G connections will grow from 3.6 million in 2013 to 86.6 million in 2018. Global mobile traffic offloaded will grow from 45 per cent in 2013 to 52 per cent in 2018.
“In MEA, mobile data traffic will continue its truly remarkable growth, which is indicative of mobility becoming a critical characteristic of almost every network experience, and the value consumers and businesses alike place on it. It is also representative of the immense opportunities ahead for service providers who sit at the center of the Internet of Everything,” concluded Younes.