No slowdown for mobile data traffic in the MEA

Cisco VNI forecasts 15-fold growth from 2015 to 2020.
Andy MacDonald, Vice President, Global Service Provider, Middle East, Africa & Russia, Cisco
Andy MacDonald, Vice President, Global Service Provider, Middle East, Africa & Russia, Cisco


By 2020, there will be 5.5 billion mobile users, representing 70 percent of the global population, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast (2015 to 2020). 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.

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.

“According to the 10th annual Cisco VNI report, the Middle East and Africa will see a growth rate of 71% in mobile data traffic in the next five years. 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 digitization 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,” says Andy MacDonald, Vice President, Global Service Provider, Middle East, Africa & Russia, Cisco.

According to the report’s findings, global mobile data traffic shows no signs of slowing down; by 2020, global mobile data traffic will reach 30.6 exabytes per month—up from 3.7 exabytes in 2015 and over 75 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video.

Given the growth and mobile networking role of Wi-Fi technologies, this year’s study again compares VoWi-Fi to other mobile voice services. By 2020, VoWi-Fi minutes of use will account for half – 53 percent – of all mobile IP voice traffic.

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