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Cisco VNI forecasts 15-fold growth in Middle East mobile data traffic

The adoption of mobile devices, increased mobile coverage, and demand for mobile content are driving user growth two times faster than the global population over the next five years. This surge of mobile users, smart devices, mobile video and 4G networks will increase mobile data traffic eight-fold over the next five years.

According to the 10th annual Cisco VNI report, the Middle East and Africa will see a growth rate of 71 percent in mobile data traffic by 2020.

Andy MacDonald, Vice President, Global Service Provider, Middle East, Africa and Russia, Cisco, said, “The number of mobile users will grow from 709 million in 2015 to 879 million in 2020 in the MEA region. With the ever-increasing millions of people and things that are being connected in the region, mobility is the predominant medium that’s enabling today’s digitisation transformation. Future mobile innovations in cellular, such as 5G, and Wi-Fi solutions will be needed to further address new scale requirements, security concerns, and user demands. IoT advancements will continue to fuel tangible benefits for people, businesses, and societies.”

Smart mobile devices and connections are projected to represent 72 percent of total mobile devices and connections by 2020—up from 36 percent in 2015. Smart devices are forecasted to generate 98 percent of mobile data traffic by 2020. From an individual device perspective, smartphones are dominating mobile traffic. They will account for 81 percent of total mobile traffic by 2020—up from 76 percent in 2015. The proliferation of mobile phones, including “phablets” (a hybrid blend of smartphone and tablet features), is increasing so rapidly that more people will have mobile phones (5.4 billion) than electricity (5.3 billion), running water (3.5 billion) and cars (2.8 billion) by 2020.

Mobile video will have the highest growth rate of any mobile application. Consumer and business users’ demand for higher video resolution, more bandwidth, and processing speed will increase the use of 4G connected devices. 4G connectivity share is projected to surpass 2G by 2018 and 3G by 2020. 4G will represent more than 70 percent of all mobile traffic, and 4G connections will generate nearly six times more traffic per month than non-4G connections by 2020.

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