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Mea region to display world’s fastest mobile data traffic growth


Cisco study estimates a 14-fold increase by 2018

February 16, 2014 5:37 by

The Middle East and Africa (Mea) region will exhibit the world’s fastest mobile data traffic growth between 2013 and 2018, according to a new Cisco study, which was published last week. It also forecasts a 14-fold increase by 2018.

The region’s rising mobile data traffic has been driven by smartphones and tablets, but also by smart wearable devices, such as watches, glasses and fitness trackers, which are also set to post a strong growth, from 700,000 shipped units in 2013 to eight million in 2018.

“As our personal and business lives become increasingly mobile, the Mea region is really coming to the fore as an early and widespread adopter of the latest smartphone and wearable technology,” says Fady Younes, regional sales manager and client director at Cisco.

Younes also adds that the Mea region is well placed to lead technological innovation in all aspects of daily life and business.

The study also shows that users drive mobile data traffic growth around the world, which is set to rise from 4.1 billion in 2013 to 4.9 billion by 2018. Mobile internet connections will, meanwhile, increase from seven billion in 2013 to ten billion by 2018, mobile video will grow from 59 per cent of mobile data traffic in 2013 to 69 per cent by 2018 and the speed of mobile internet will double from 1.4mbps in 2013 to 2.5mbps by 2018.

By the end of this year, the number of mobile devices will be more than the world’s population (more than seven billion people) and, by 2018, it will reach ten billion, according to the report.

Companies using 4G mobile networks have also supported the growth of mobile data traffic. According to the study, in the Mea region, 4G connections will grow from 3.6 million in 2013 to 86.6 million by 2018.

Younes says that, in the region, mobile data traffic will continue its growth – an indication that “mobility is becoming a critical characteristic of almost every network experience”.



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