According to the latest Cisco® Visual Networking Index™ Global Forecast and Service Adoption for 2013 to 2018, global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will increase nearly three-fold over the next four years due to more Internet users and devices, faster broadband speeds and more video viewing. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region continues to be the fastest-growing IP traffic region from 2013 – 2018 with five-fold growth and a 38-percent CAGR.

With the FIFA World Cup 2014 now well underway, tens of millions of people are viewing games and/or highlights via the Internet. Video streaming and IP broadcast of the World Cup is anticipated to generate 4.3 exabytes of Internet traffic, which is three times the amount of monthly traffic generated by (this year’s World Cup host city). In addition, Internet traffic generated by the 60,000 people in a stadium and traveling to games is forecast to surpass the average busy-hour traffic ***from all 94 million smartphones in Brazil.

To place the World Cup in context, global IP traffic is expected to reach 132 exabytes per month by 2018, which is the equivalent to:

  • 8.8 billion screens streaming the FIFA World Cup final game in Ultra-HD/4K at the same time;
  • 5.5 billion people binge-watching “Game of Thrones” Season 4 via video-on-demand in HD or 1.5 billion watching in Ultra-HD/4K;
  • The season 3 premier of “House of Cards” streaming in Ultra-HD/4K on 24 billion screens at the same time;
  • 940 quadrillion text messages; and
  • 4.5 trillion YouTube clips.

Cisco VNI MEA Highlights:

In Middle East and Africa:

  • IP traffic will grow 5-fold to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 38%.
  • Internet traffic will grow 5.5-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 41%.
  • IP video traffic will grow 7-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 48%.
  • Internet video traffic will grow 8-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 50%.
  • HD will be 19.6% of IP Video traffic in 2018, up from 6.9% in 2013 (82.3% CAGR).
  • Mobile data traffic will grow 14-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 70%.
  • There will be 2.0 billion networked devices in 2018, up from 1.3 billion in 2013
  • Fixed/Wi-Fi will be 60% of total IP traffic in 2018.
  • There will be 3 million Internet households (5.1% of all Internet households) generating more than 100 gigabytes per month in 2018, up from 438,224 in 2013

Global Traffic Projections and Service Adoption Drivers

  • The composition of IP traffic will shift dramatically in the coming years. By 2018, the majority of traffic will originate from devices other than personal computers (PCs) for the first time. Wi-Fi traffic will exceed wired traffic for the first time, and high-definition (HD) video will generate more traffic than standard-definition video.
  • Mobile and portable devices other than PCs will drive the majority of traffic by 2018. In 2013, 33 percent of IP traffic originated with non-PC devices. However, by 2018, the non-PC share of IP traffic will grow to 57 percent.
  • Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices will generate 76 percent of Internet traffic by 2018. Wi-Fi will be 61 percent, and cellular will be 15 percent. Fixed traffic will be only 24 percent of total Internet traffic by 2018. In comparison, Wi-Fi was 55 percent; cellular was 4 percent; and fixed was 41 percent.
  • Global broadband speeds will reach 42 Mbps by 2018, up from 16 Mbps at the end of 2013.
  • Online video will be the fastest-growing residential internet service growing from 1.2 billion users to 1.9 billion users by 2018.
  • Desktop and personal videoconferencing will be the fastest-growing business Internet service growing from 37 million users in 2013 to 238 million users by 2018.
  • The Internet of Everything is also gaining momentum, and there will be nearly as many machine-to-machine (M2M) modules as there are people by 2018. For example, smart cars will have nearly four M2M connections per car.

 Cisco VNI Forecast Implications for Service Providers

  • Service provider networks must adapt to the increasing number of devices, such as tablets, smartphones and M2M connections, that will need to be authenticated to gain access to fixed/mobile networks with enhanced security and intelligence required.
  • The evolution of advanced video services, such as HD/ultra HD video, may create new bandwidth and scalability requirements for service providers. Residential, business and mobile consumers continue to have strong demand for advanced video services across all network and device types with quality of service, convenience, and price as key factors for success.
  • Continued business video adoption, such as HD and web-based video conferencing and business VoD may prompt greater growth in network virtualization and leveraging the Internet for video transmission with network ramifications for service providers and over-the-top providers.
  • 4G network growth and service adoption may grow faster as mobile users continue to demand similar service and content experiences from their fixed and mobile networks.
  • IP networks must be intelligent and flexible enough to support the constant introduction of new/updated applications for fixed and mobile networks. Many service providers are actively collaborating with application developers to differentiate their services.

 

Our first Cisco Visual Networking Index nine years ago established the zettabyte as a major milestone for global IP traffic. Today, we are firmly in the ‘Zettabyte Era’ and witnessing incredible innovations and shifts in the industry. The reality of the Internet of Everything (IoE), the increasing demand for network mobility, and the emergence of 4K video are among the key trends highlighted in this year’s forecast that represent significant opportunities for service providers in East Africa” – Sabrina Dar, General Manager, Cisco East Africa