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South Africa’s online traffic expected to soar

August 2, 2013 • Southern Africa

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2012-2017) projects that South Africa’s Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will quadruple during the period under review at a compound annual growth rate of 31%.

Key drivers, including mobile, connectivity and broadband, is expected to result in a rapid increase in IP traffic in South Africa, and in other regions throughout the continent. (Image source: File)

Key drivers, including mobile, connectivity and broadband, is expected to result in a rapid increase in IP traffic in South Africa, and in other regions throughout the continent. (Image source: File)

South Africa’s IP traffic (fixed and mobile) is expected to reach an annual run rate of 6.1 exabytes petabytes ¯ almost 6.55 billion gigabytes per year – by 2017. 6.1 exabytes is equivalent to 2 billion DVDs per year, 128 million DVDs per month, or 174,939 DVDs per hour.

On a monthly basis, IP traffic is expected to reach 511 petabytes per month by 2017, up from 131 petabytes per month in 2012. This updated study includes fixed IP traffic growth and service adoption trends, complementing the VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast released earlier this year.

According to the report, IP Traffic Drivers identified include more devices and connections, faster fixed broadband network speeds and increased use of video service/ applications.

By 2017, there will be more than 133 million network connections in South Africa (fixed/mobile personal devices, M2M connections, et al.).

Faster Fixed Broadband Network Speeds

In South Africa, the average fixed broadband speed will increase 2.3-fold from 2012 – 2017, from 2.5 Mbps to 6 Mbps. The average fixed broadband speed grew 28% from 2011 – 2012, from 2.0 Mbps to 2.5 Mbps.

The Report added that 38 billion minutes (72,436 years) of video content will cross the Internet each month in 2017. That’s 14,487 minutes of video streamed or downloaded every second.

By 2017 the non-PC share of Internet traffic will grow to 20%.

As global service providers build out the Next Generation Internet, nearly half of the world’s population will have network and Internet access by 2017. The average Internet household (globally) will generate 74.5 gigabytes per month. By comparison, in 2012, the average Internet household generated 31.6 gigabytes of traffic per month.

The Forecast also reveals that the “Internet of Things” (the networked connection of physical objects) is showing tangible growth and will have a measurable impact on global IP networks. Globally, M2M connections will grow three-fold from two billion in 2012 to six billion by 2017.

Annual global M2M IP traffic will grow 20-fold over this same period—from 197 petabytes in 2012 (0.5% of global IP traffic) to 3.9 exabytes by 2017 (three % of global IP traffic).

Applications such as video surveillance, smart meters, asset/package tracking, chipped pets/livestock, digital health monitors and a host of other next-generation M2M services are driving this growth.

The IP traffic projections for the Middle East and Africa will continue to be the fastest growing IP traffic region from 2012 – 2017 (5-fold growth, 38% CAGR over the forecast period); MEA was the fastest growing region last year as well (10-fold growth, 57% CAGR for 2011 – 2016 forecast period) in this category.

Leon Wright, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco South Africa, said “Cisco’s VNI Forecast once again showcases the seemingly insatiable demand for bandwidth in South Africa as well as around the globe and provides insights on the architectural considerations necessary to deliver on the ever-increasing experiences being delivered. With more and more people, things, processes and data being connected in the Internet of Everything, the intelligent network and the service providers who operate them are more relevant than ever.”

Staff Writer

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