The digital business in the Middle East and Africa region is expected to advance as the size of the Internet society is set to increase exponentially in the coming years thanks to a growing demand for mobile devices, video and social networking. The total number of Internet users in the region will grow 1.6-fold to 425 million – or 27 per cent of the population – by 2019, making the region ideal for the digital business, according to global technology giant Cisco.
By 2019, the number of global Internet users, which was 2.8bn in 2014, will grow to 3.9 billion –that is 39 per cent of the world’s population of 7.2bn, reveals Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Forecast 2015.
In the MEA region, IP traffic will grow sixfold by 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 44 per cent. There will be 2.1bn networked devices in 2019, up from 1.4bn in 2014. Nearly 78 per cent of all networked devices will be mobile-connected in 2019.
“Factors expected to drive traffic growth include global increases in Internet users, personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, faster broadband speeds and the adoption of advanced video services,” states the Cisco report.
Region’s total Internet users to grow 1.6-fold to 425 million by 2019
Social networking will be the most highly-penetrated residential Internet service in the region, with 176 million users, 81 per cent of the total residential Internet users.
TVs accounted for two per cent of the region’s total Internet traffic in 2014 and will constitute two per cent of total Internet traffic in 2019.
Across the world, Internet traffic will grow 6.8-fold from 2014 to 2019, a compound annual growth rate of 47 per cent.
“We are entering a very dynamic technological era and the rapid increase in connected devices will benefit a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, transportation, oil and gas, utilities, government, healthcare, sports and entertainment, education, in terms of increased efficiency, reduced costs and, most important, improvement of the lives of citizens,” says Fady Younes, Head of Service Providers, Cisco UAE.
Recently, a study by global consulting firm Strategy& found that digital markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are growing at an overall compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent and their value is expected to reach $35bn in 2015.