According to the latest annual update of the Cisco® Visual Networking Index™ Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2014 to 2019, the ongoing adoption of more powerful mobile devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections combined with broader access to faster cellular networks are key contributors to significant mobile traffic growth. In 2014, 82% of South African mobile data traffic was “smart” traffic, with advanced computing/multi-media capabilities and a minimum of 3G connectivity, but that figure is expected to rise to 98% by 2019.
The worldwide shift from basic-feature phones to smartphones – combined with the continued growth in tablets, a resurgence in laptops with tablet-like capabilities, as well as expanding machine-to-machine (M2M) applications – are key factors supporting the increasing smart traffic trend.
“The remarkable uptake and adoption of mobile devices will be a key contributor to the country’s transformation, impacting industries like education, healthcare and government services therefore reaching all aspects of the society. The ongoing adoption of more powerful mobile devices and wider deployments of emerging M2M applications, combined with broader access to faster wireless networks is not limited to South Africa but across Africa as a whole. The findings of Cisco’s Mobile VNI 2015 comes as no surprise given the phenomenal growth of mobile traffic. This mobile-friendly environment will give service providers in South Africa a new landscape of challenges and opportunities to innovatively deliver a variety of mobile services and experiences to consumers and business users as the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to take shape,” says Vernon Thaver, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco Systems South Africa
Key Highlights from South Africa
In South Africa, mobile data traffic is expected to grow 11-fold from 2014 to 2019, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 63% - two times faster than expected fixed IP traffic growth. This will be driven by the projected 48.2 million mobile users (88% of the population) by 2019, up from 43.4 million in 2014.
· Data explosion: South African mobile data traffic will grow 2 times faster than fixed IP traffic from 2014 to 2019, and will account for 32% of South African fixed and mobile data traffic by 2019, up from 13% in 2014.
· Smarter connections: In South Africa, 62% of mobile connections will be 'smart' connections by 2019, up from 21% in 2014.
· Smarter traffic: In South Africa, 98% of mobile data traffic will be 'smart' traffic by 2019, up from 82% in 2014.
· More traffic: Mobile traffic per South African user will reach 7,217 megabytes per month by 2019, up from 710 megabytes per month in 2014, a CAGR of 57%.
Key Mobile Data Traffic Drivers in South Africa
From 2014 to 2019, Cisco anticipates that South African mobile traffic will grow at 63% CAGR. Trends driving mobile data traffic growth include:
· More mobile users: By 2019, there will be 48.2 Million mobile users (up from 43.4 Million in 2014), a CAGR of 2.1%. The number of mobile-connected devices will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6% from 2014 to 2019. In 2014 there were 43.4 Million mobile users, nearly 82% of South Africa's population, up 5% from 41.2 Million in 2013.
· More mobile connections: By 2019, there will be approximately 112 million mobile-connected devices. In 2014, 6.9 million smartphones were added to the mobile network and there were 84 million mobile-connected devices in 2014.
· Faster mobile speeds: The average mobile connection speed will grow 2.1-fold (16% CAGR) from 2014 to 2019, reaching 3,639 kbps by 2019.
· More mobile video: By 2019, mobile video will represent 71% of South African mobile data traffic (compared to 51% at the end of 2014).
Impact of Mobile M2M Connections (and Wearable Devices) in South Africa
M2M refers to applications that enable wireless systems to communicate with similar devices to support global positioning satellite (GPS) navigation systems, asset tracking, utility meters, security and surveillance video. Wearable devices are included as a sub-segment of the M2M connections category to help project the growth trajectory of the Internet of Everything (IoE).
· In South Africa the number of wearable devices will reach 2.4 million in number by 2019, up from 0.6 million in 2014, at 30% CAGR.
· In South Africa, traffic from wearable devices is expected to fuel 20-fold growth in mobile traffic from wearable devices between 2014 and 2019.
· In South Africa the average wearable device will generate 391 megabytes of mobile data traffic per month by 2019, up from 73 megabytes per month in 2014.
Growth of Mobile Cloud Traffic in South Africa
Cloud applications and services such as Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify allow mobile users to overcome the memory capacity and processing power limitations of mobile devices.
· In South Africa, mobile cloud traffic will grow 12.7-fold from 2014 to 2019 at 66% CAGR.
· Cloud applications will account for 89% of total mobile data traffic by 2019, compared to 80% at the end of 2014.