Global IP traffic will triple over next five years, study predicts

Africa a world leader in mobile bankingThe Middle East and Africa will see a six fold growth in IP traffic. (Image source: Amekpics)The Cisco Visual Networking Index has predicted that global IP traffic will nearly triple at a compound annual growth rate of 22 per cent over the next five years

The Index has predicted that more than one billion new Internet users are expected to join the global Internet community, growing from three billion in 2015 to 4.1bn by 2020. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region will see 445mn new Internet users by 2020 at a CAGR of 10.8 per cent.

The Cisco VNI Global IP Traffic and Service Adoption Forecasts for 2015 to 2020 rely upon independent analyst forecasts and real-world network usage data.

Over the next five years, the studyalso predicts that global IP networks will support up to 10bn new devices and connections, increasing from 16.3bn in 2015 to 26.3bn by 2020. There are projected to be 3.4 devices and connections per capita by 2020—up from 2.2 per capita in 2015. 

“One of the most significant changes of the next few years will be the dramatic increase in worldwide connectivity via the Internet. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than across the Middle East and Africa where we are looking at the highest growth rate in the world with 2.4bn new devices and connections to be added by 2020,” said Mike Weston, vice-president of Cisco Middle East. “The rapid increase in connected devices and IP traffic will create new opportunities that arise from digitisation, delivering benefits such as reduced costs, increased efficiency and improvement in the lives of citizens.”

In Middle East and Africa, Internet video traffic will grow eight-fold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 52 per cent. This means that for the MEA region, 169bn minutes (321,793 years) of video content will cross the Internet each month in 2020. That's 64,359 minutes of video streamed or downloaded every second.

Advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) are continuing to drive IP traffic and tangible growth in the market. Applications such as video surveillance, smart meters, digital health monitors and a host of other M2M services are creating new network requirements and incremental traffic increases.

Globally, M2M connections are calculated to grow nearly three-fold from 4.9bn in 2015 to 12.2bn by 2020, representing nearly half (46 per cent) of total connected devices. The connected health consumer segment will have the fastest growth (five-fold) of M2M connections from 2015 (144mn) to 2020 (729mn). The connected home segment will have the largest volume of M2M connections over the forecast period with 2.4bn in 2015, growing to 5.8bn by 2020—nearly half of all M2M connections.

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