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Mobile Data Traffic Growth Fastest in Africa And Middle East, Cisco Says

African Mobile Growth

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is forecast to have the fastest mobile data traffic growth rate in the world over the next five years, according to network equipment firm Cisco.

In its Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, Cisco has said that it expects mobile data traffic in MEA to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 77% until 2017.

Cisco predicts the Middle East and Africa’s mobile data traffic could reach 861,298 terabytes per month in 2017, the equivalent of 2,374 million text messages each second.

The MEA mobile data traffic growth is forecast to outpace the likes of Asia-Pacific’s annual growth rate of 76% and Latin America’s 67%.

Meanwhile, Central and Eastern Europe is to have 66% CAGR, North America to have 56% CAGR and Western Europe 50% CAGR during the same period.

“The Middle East and Africa will have the strongest mobile data traffic growth of any region at 77% compound annual growth rate (CAGR),” reads the report.

Thomas Barnett Jr., director of market management at Cisco, told ITWeb Africa there are four key drivers for mobile data traffic for the Middle East and Africa region.

“The first one is more mobile users, two is more mobile devices or connections, three is faster mobile (cellular) connection speeds, and four is more mobile video content viewing and application use,” said Barnett.

He added that “smartphones will be the primary driver of mobile data traffic growth in MEA from a device perspective.”

According to Barnett, in the Middle East and Africa, the number of smartphones grew 42% during 2012, reaching 89 million.

“In this region the number of smartphones will grow 3.3-fold between 2012 and 2017, reaching 296 million,” he said.

Cisco further expects global mobile data traffic to increase 13-fold between 2012 and 2017, and global CAGR is expected to be 66%.

Spiwe Chireka, International Data Corporation (IDC) program manager for telecoms, Africa region, says she agrees with Cisco’s mobile data traffic findings for MEA…

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